10 March 2009

The Japanese Garden: Dreams

Japanese style garden

When we moved here 'umpteen' years ago, the land was pretty bare - in terms of landscaping. This was frustrating in ways, but in the end a fairly blank 'canvas' turned out to be a HUGE blessing as we could design garden areas pretty much as we wished (keeping in mind, of course, the septic system location, utility lines, etc).
One of the garden areas we designed, and then constructed, was a Japanese style garden-- 'style' being the key word here! In this area, we dug two ponds--a seasonal pond and a deeper, larger year round pond. The latter one is stocked with fish but has been known to attract certain hot family members too!
The plants around the ponds are mostly ones you would expect in a Japanese garden: Pieris, azaleas, Japanese maples, rhododendron, ferns, a flowering cherry; a few less so. There is also lots and LOTS of pond grass! Did I emphasize that enough?
My goal is to make this area a more inviting place and increase its accessibility: first by creating a comfortable seating area for reading, reflection and relaxation; and then constructing a bridge between the two ponds with a path to join main areas (now a grass/rock combo danger zone). I'd like to add some plants here too -- another evergreen huckleberry for sure----our sole survivor is just not happy without a companion (who can blame her?) and maybe some more native type plants like ferns or ?? Of course there are maintenance issues always like weeding, moving rock, mulching, etc.
Did I say we're into saving money for retirement and needed home improvements/repair too? Although we have been debt free (vehicles, home/land) for awhile now this is a big concern; not many people can afford to waste money/resources today (nor should they) and we are no exception. Besides more and more I feel the wise management of our resources is a matter of stewardship.
We have some great resources to start with: my hubby (bless him!), who knows a lot about construction. Then there is my best friend who is very knowledgeable about landscaping/ plants. Still other resources, like lumber, will be expensive so the challenge here is to prioritize and make shop wisely (craigslist, thrift stores, etc).
First step, the clean up ... then changes using resources we already have or can acquire cheaply...then the dreams.

Blessings, Aimee


  • mini orchard/garden/raised bed 'dreams'
  • edible/non-edible landscaped bed 'dreams'
  • going solar--at least for outside lighting

Photo: 'Pagoda' area of pond; the proposed bridge would be a little to the left of the pieris you can see. The seating area would be near the upper, seasonal pond although there will be something here too.

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