Monthly Archives: June 2017

Japanese Gardens

A flat garden can include many familiar ingredients that you would expect when making a Japanese garden. Stones, Rocks, Trees and Shrubs are very common.The trees although natural will be pruned and the low level shrubs and bushes shaped on the edge of the water space.

Flat gardens were first designed to interpret and in miniature mimic Japan’s seaside landscapes or some of its grander lakes, a journey through Japanese garden history points to war and water shortages as to why water was replaced by gravel as a ‘dry’ substitute. This is a trend that has continued for hundreds of years even in peacetime and with abundant supplies of water. The Edo period of Japanese history is when flat gardens became very popular.

Interestingly water features apart from a body of water are fairly common in a Japanese ‘Flat’ garden. For example, large upright stones can symbolise a waterfall and this something that you can copy for a garden space that you have in mind however large or small.

Use non sharp edged rocks or stones (Granite) to depict islands within your gravel water area. 3 together is a popular representation of ‘The Isles of The Immortals’.The Japanese Circle and Gourd Islands are often copied and represented in the gravel water area to add the spirit of enlightenment. You will be able to get the correct rocks and stones from your local aggregate supplier – take some time to consider the shapes that you want and strictly speaking for authenticity you should not use rounded stones.

Other ingredients that you may wish to add to a flat garden are stone lanterns, included for the illumination of parts of the garden at night, basins and if you are very ambitious even a well! Well’s are normally constructed out of wood and have some way of getting the water out of the well – a pulley and bucket or a large wooden spoon are common.

Stepping stones can be placed across the gravel water area and look very effective if they lead to the far side of the gravel area where a rustic hut or pagoda is located. After the 16th century this was a popular type of design where the hut would be used for the slow and meaningful Tea ceremony.

A completed flat garden will give a real impression of depth of space to the viewer as the eye is drawn into the water area with the clipped shrubs on the faraway edge. The stones or rocks placed carefully within the raked gravel ‘water’ area give a feeling of depth and perspective relative to the scale of the garden.

As a Zen garden is designed to be viewed from a single space it is exactly the same with a Japanese flat garden. The view is sometimes ‘framed’ when a veranda door is opened or when looking through a larger window into the garden itself.

The viewer’s eyes are drawn across the water to the carefully clipped low level shrubs and plants like Lilies or Azeleas. In Japan plantings are deliberately made in a flat garden to show off the seasons.Maples for the autumn, Cherry blossom looks its best in Spring, the soothing impression of water signifies summer and something like a Black Pine denotes the winter.

Flat gardens became an alternative to hill gardens in Japan as were amongst the first residential gardens added to the homes of ordinary Japanese people and they continue to be a wonderful type of garden today for any yard or garden area.

I believe a ‘Flat’ or Hira-niwa garden is a cost effective and beautiful option for a domestic Japanese garden as it includes some of the essential ingredients needed for a Japanese garden as well as the classic Japanese garden design method of borrowed scenery. This is where the designer either copies a specific landscape in miniature or use existing scenery such as a hill located outside of the flat garden space to include it in the overall garden view.

Different Garden Buildings

Garden building is typically a very simple and small wooden structure in the garden. These buildings can be used as garden offices, wooden garages, storage sheds, summer houses, and log cabins. If you need more space for unused garden tools and other equipment, it is extremely important to decide which type of building you need in your garden because there are many options for garden buildings. Nowadays, the demand of these buildings has increased extremely.

A garden building is a simple wooden structure, mostly used to store unused equipment or gardening tools. These buildings may also be used as workshops. Small garden buildings are common buildings in many gardens because they are sturdy, durable, and functional. If you grow vegetables or fruit for you and your family members, you need a place to keep all your gardening tools. Of course, people are very curious and they want to be sure that the new building will meet their needs. Garden shed or log cabin is the most common choice because of the great look and curb appeal.

Garden buildings can be made in a lot of styles and sizes, but always with the one purpose of providing as much storage space as possible. These buildings are usually of a very simple design that makes it easy to take care of them. Garden buildings are very popular in many gardens because they are extremely sturdy, durable, and functional. There are many types of these buildings but garden shed is the most common choice among the gardeners because of the great look and curb appeal. Of course, keeping your gardening equipment somewhere in the corner of your garden isn’t bad, but many people want something more than this. You should build a great garden building where the gardening equipment, mower, and other tools have their place. Most of the gardeners can do most of their work without a garden cabin but when the gardener’s yard is full of gardening equipment, a small garden cabin no longer seems a bad idea. Garden buildings now are common items in the yards.

If you work from your home, you may want to buy a small garden building to act as your garden office. Garden offices come in a number of different sizes, shapes, and it is very easy to turn your log cabin into a perfect office place. There are many great benefits of creating a special place to work which helps to make you much more productive. One of the key advantages of working from home is that there is no rush hour commute to work and no parking costs involved. Work life can be left in your garden office allowing your house to be just your house again and not the place you work and live. What is more, the price of the this building is lower than having a house extension built and most garden buildings do not need planning permission.

Garden buildings are coming back to our lives and gives us a chance to enjoy living in environmentally friendly houses. These buildings are very popular in many countries such as the United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Denmark. Wood is a natural building material without any negative effects on our bodies. According to the University of the France, these buildings offer lower cooling and heating costs because of the density of the logs and it is very important for both the builders and the consumers. Build a garden building in your garden if you want to save on the heating and cooling bills. The best thing you will find when you are using a garden building is that you can customise this building for your needs and your space requirements.

A garden building is a beautiful and comfortable place for your family and friends to meet and relax. What is more, all these buildings can be used for almost anything but the most common uses are as a guest room, sitting room, garden office, wooden garage, log cabin or summer-house. You can see that there are many garden buildings available these days, tailored to many functions. Remember that having a wooden house in your garden can be a charming accessory to add. It can give your garden a style like nothing else. With a little bit of planning and research, you can be on your way to building a great building for a reasonable price.


Butterfly Habitat Rain Gardens

The purpose of each of these gardens might seem obvious enough from the name, but understanding the role each plays in your community, state, even the world provides a context for both children and adults. Using the opportunity to educate through gardens, every green enthusiast stands to make global improvements. Let’s call it the Butterfly Garden Effect that every positive motion, even the tiniest swoop of a fluttering wing, contributes to the evolution of a better world for all of us, from the most sentient creatures on the planet to the tiniest contributors.

The Role of Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly gardens contribute three very basic benefits:

  • support for local and migrating butterflies
  • beautification for communities
  • attraction for a broad range of pollinators and other wildlife

Wherever butterflies flutter by, expect to find a wide range of other pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds. It’s the circle of life, as they say, that makes butterfly gardens so crucial to ecosystems. Attracted to color, flavor, fragrance, and texture in your garden, butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, pollinating your garden as they do. Vivid and eye-catching they, in turn, attract a wide variety of prey that belong in your garden

The Role of Habitat Gardens

By nature of the fact that they attract a wide variety of wildlife, butterfly gardens easily double as habitat gardens whenever shrubs and/or trees are incorporated into the design. Essentially, habitat gardens are homes for various insects and animals. Habitat gardens provide:

  • shelter
  • food
  • water
  • protection
  • solace

The Role of Rain Gardens

True to name, rain gardens take advantage of storm runoff to irrigate gardens, but there is a lot more going on beneath the surface. Designed to take advantage of rainwater runoff, rain gardens also:

  • direct water to low spots
  • slow water to negate the possibility of erosion
  • percolate runoff to promote filtering/cleaning of polluted water
  • assist in drainage to minimize standing water zones
  • guide filtered water to bodies such as streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds, and even seas and oceans

To ensure the success and longevity of such your rain garden, incorporate native and noninvasive plants that are up to the task of handling the microclimate forming there. Rain gardens present two main extremes in irrigation: deep wet and extreme dry, from time to time. Native plants that are tolerant of both wet and dry conditions are your best bet. Choosing plants of various root structures, too, will help the garden to do its best filtration work, too. Among the underground portions that help filter minerals, debris, particulate matter, and pollutants are:

  •  shallow, webby roots that filter tiniest particles
  • bulbs, rhizomes, and cormers (combinations) that hinder larger matter passage
  • deep, even tap, roots, that channel runoff to deeper soils and layers

Combining Roles for Your Own Butterfly Habitat Rain Garden

Cultivating a garden that achieves all three purposes is as easy as selecting plants that serve the purpose of each garden style whenever possible. Native plants that provide blooms for adult butterflies and/or act as hosts for their caterpillar offspring may be blended with shrubs and trees that provide shelter for the other wildlife who will come to admire and consume the butterflies. In many cases, shrubs and trees may act as nectar suppliers and/or hosts for butterfly populations as well. Among the native shrubs and trees you might choose for your butterfly habitat rain garden are:spicebush shrubs,butterfly bushes, chokeberry,serviceberry bushes,redbud trees

Each of these shrub and trees offers much to any garden as they are fragrant, beautiful, and excellent hosts for a variety of animals and bugs. Use these as focal points or boundaries to control entry and exit from your garden.

Grow a Successful Garden

Before you begin designing or breaking ground for your garden, creating a list of ideas of what you want to plant and size your gardening will be. Another thing to consider is the type of ground or land that you will plant on. Some concerns can be is the ground leveled? Are there rocks, stumps or weeds that will require your initial attention. Even though these may be some concerns, it should not hinder you from your completing your garden.

What Size of My Garden Will Be?

There can be many factors to think about regarding the size of your garden. Here are some factors to consider: Will you have sufficient time to devote towards your garden? Do you I have to space and terrain to grow the type of garden you’re planning? And will I have sufficient funds not only for my garden, but enough for unexpected changes?

One thing to keep in mind is, if you are operating in limited space this can unintentionally affect your plans. If this is the case, then you might want to look into using containers such as pots or portable planters. There is also the choice of using vertical space. If you have that option, you can hang your gardening from a ceiling or place them on shelves. Another option can be trellises, if you are dealing with small plants.

With gardening in a small or large area, your greatest commodity you have is time. By planning the amount of time to begin your gardening and completing your project, will ultimately be based upon your availability. By having a smaller garden, you have the luxury of finishing sooner than a larger one and enjoying what you have grown sooner. A larger garden can offer the same enjoyment, but at a potentially much longer time. Lastly, regardless of size gardening requires time to for maintenance and care.

What Type of Ground I am Working With?

Many people who decide to grow a garden tend to have a relatively flat yard for gardening. Some houses you can find that are gardening are in suburban or urban areas. Even if the terrain is not ideal, gardeners have planted on hilly and sloping ground too. As you may be aware, it is much easier to plant on grounds that are leveled. One advantage to gardening on leveled grounds is, well you water your garden, and your ground can become better saturated. While gardening on a hilly or sloped terrain can possibly present many challenges. One of those challenges can be poor water saturation. No matter how much water is used, it will drain in the direction of the sloped area.

If you are dealing with a hilly area, if possible you can add soil to the ground to level it out some. If it is bumpy, you will want to fill in those depressions. Just remember, do not compact the soil that it will affect the ground’s ability to retain water.

Time to Create Plotting Plan

The Plot Plan is the time that is spent writing the steps necessary for your gardening. It is essential to not ignore this step. In doing so, it will help you from making costly and irreversible mistakes along the way. Even though gardening can be a very simple and enjoyable thing to do, but not planning it out can be a serious challenge of sorts.

One of the easiest ways to draw out a plot is the use of graph paper if you have it. If not, the school in your neighborhood or office supply stores will have some. The reason for graph paper is grid lines are already on it and will make drawing straight lines very easy. You can also draw out a garden to scale too.One thing that most gardeners will do is, use the scale on graph paper as 1 foot of the garden. You may want to take a measurement of the ground you tend to use for a garden, and then make those measurements on your graph paper. If it does not turn out to be exactly, no worries, it’s only a draft.