Do you wish for a calm and peaceful Japanese garden outside, but your backyard is pretty small? Don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll share 7 ideas for a Japanese garden that can turn your small backyard into a beautiful oasis. Japanese gardens are famous for their simple design, balanced elements, and smart use of space.
Whether you are looking for plants or landscape additions, we’ve got ideas for you. Let’s see how these space saving ideas can change your small backyard into a relaxing haven, but still look amazing. Get ready to be inspired!
1. Add height and privacy to your garden with bamboo
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If you’re looking to add some height, privacy, and interest to your Japanese landscape, you should check out bamboo. This plant isn’t just aesthetically pleasing – it’s got some key features that make it a true standout.
When you incorporate bamboo, particularly clump-forming varieties like Fargesia and Himalayacalamus, you’re investing in the natural beauty and structural elegance that it brings. There’s just something about bamboo that transforms a space. Here are other features you of bamboo you will love:
- Add Height and Privacy: Bamboo helps create a sense of height and privacy in small spaces, making it an ideal choice. By positioning bamboo as lush green screens or at the back of borders, you can achieve a private and tranquil atmosphere, inviting quiet contemplation. It helps avoid a lack of vertical interest and privacy, transforming your outdoor space into a serene sanctuary.
- Natural and Structural Element: Bamboo adds a natural and structural component to Japanese gardens, enhancing their authenticity and aesthetic appeal. It brings a touch of nature to the landscape and serves as a key element in creating the desired ambiance. By incorporating bamboo, you avoid a lack of visual interest and structural elements, creating a landscape that truly reflects the essence of Japanese garden design.
- Clump-Forming Bamboo Varieties: Choosing clump-forming bamboo varieties, such as Fargesia and Himalayacalamus, is crucial to prevent bamboo from taking over the entire garden. These varieties grow in tight clumps, ensuring controlled growth and manageable maintenance. By selecting the right bamboo varieties, you avoid the invasive spreading and overgrowth that can disrupt the balance and harmony.
- Easy Planting Process: Planting bamboo is relatively easy and straightforward. By following simple steps, such as preparing the hole, mixing in compost, and watering thoroughly, you can successfully incorporate bamboo into your landscape. This simplicity in planting helps avoid complex planting procedures and techniques, making it accessible for homeowners of all gardening skill levels.
2. Create a calming and elegant atmosphere in your Japanese-style garden with miniature trees
If you want to make your Japanese style garden calm and elegant, let’s talk about miniature trees. With miniature trees, like niwaki trees or bonsai trees, you’re doing more than just planting a tree. You’re making a special point of interest, a piece of art that draws people in and makes a peaceful place to relax.
The best thing about these Japanese plants? They use up only a small amount of space, which can solve some common problems in gardening in a small garden. Check out it’s other features:
- Miniature Trees: Adding miniature trees to a Japanese garden makes it look more refined and fancy. These trees also add depth and make the landscape interesting. They give you the beauty of large trees, but they fit in small spaces. By using miniature trees, you don’t have to worry about not having enough room.
- Niwaki Trees: Niwaki trees are evergreen trees that are shaped to look like clouds. They give a natural look to small gardens. You can use box, Japanese privet, or pine types to make a garden design that fits the space. By using niwaki trees, you can have a beautiful landscape that doesn’t take up too much room.
- Bonsai Trees: Bonsai trees add a unique touch and become a major point of interest in a Japanese garden. You can easily find ready-made bonsai trees at garden centers and set them up on outdoor shelves. This quickly changes your beautiful garden into a piece of art. You can choose from many types of trees, like magnolias, maples, and junipers, to make your own special bonsai designs. By using bonsai trees, you can have an artistic point of interest.
3. Add a captivating and dynamic visual element with color changing trees
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Incorporating a color-changing tree, adds a captivating and dynamic visual element to your small Japanese garden. These trees are known for their changing leaf colors throughout the seasons, providing a beautiful spectrum of vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows. Here are the features, benefits, and problems you can avoid by using a plant with color-changing leaves:
- Acer shirasawanum plant ‘Jordan‘: The acer shirasawanum plant ‘Jordan’ is an excellent choice for a small Japanese garden. This variety offers a stunning range of changing leaf colors, providing a captivating display throughout the year. From vibrant oranges to fiery reds and bright yellows, the foliage of this acer adds a sense of drama and beauty to your garden.
- Color-Changing Leaves: The changing colors of the leaves are an essential aspect of Japanese gardens, creating depth and beauty in the landscape. By incorporating a color-changing tree, you introduce a dynamic visual element that evolves throughout the seasons. This ever-changing display of vibrant hues adds visual interest and creates a harmonious environment, even with limited space.
4. Make your garden peaceful with zen-like water features
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Do you want to make your Japanese garden ideas feel more peaceful? You should use zen-like water features. Even if your garden is small, the right water feature can make it feel serene and even attract local wildlife. There are many options you can choose from, like stone bowls, bamboo Shishi Odoshi (deer scarers), decorative basins, fountains, or even a tiny garden pond. Here are some benefits of these water features:
- Zen-Like Water Feature: A zen-like water feature can make your Japanese garden feel calm and peaceful. The sound and motion of the water can help you relax and enjoy a serene setting. Adding a water feature can make your garden elements look even better.
- Stone Bowls: Stone bowls are a simple but elegant choice for your water feature. They can serve different purposes, like holding water and attracting birds to your garden. Their simplicity fits well with the style of a Japanese zen garden.
- Bamboo Shishi Odoshi: Bamboo Shishi Odoshi, also known as deer scarers, add a soft sound and movement that makes your garden feel peaceful. The sound of water dripping onto bamboo can make you feel calm and relaxed, avoiding stress in your garden space.
- Ornamental Basin: If your space is small, a simple decorative basin at ground level can be a good water feature. It adds elegance to your garden while keeping the design simple. You can also add a precast concrete or ceramic Japanese lantern for extra charm.
- Flowing Water (Fountain): If you want the peaceful sound of moving water but don’t have much space, a small fountain is a great choice. It creates a soothing sound of water bubbling, making your garden feel calm.
- Small Garden Pond: If you want to add depth and interest to your small Japanese garden, a small garden pond is an excellent choice. Even in a small space, a well-designed pond can fit in well, becoming a focus point in your garden and improving its overall look.
5. Elevate your small backyard Japanese garden with minimalist outdoor furniture
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Wondering what furniture to add to a Japanese garden in a small backyard? Well, minimalist outdoor furniture could be your best bet. This style of furniture, with its simple design, clean lines, and natural materials, embodies the principles of Japanese aesthetics.
By harmoniously blending with your garden’s elements, minimalist furniture contributes to a serene atmosphere, creating a calm space where you can kick back and immerse yourself in the beauty of your Japanese-inspired haven. Here are other features you should check out:
- Fits small backyard: Minimalist outdoor furniture is particularly suitable for small backyards, as it helps maximize the available space. Its clean and unobtrusive design allows the furniture to seamlessly blend into the surroundings without overwhelming the limited area.
- Minimalist design: The minimalist approach creates a serene and tranquil space, aligning with the principles of Japanese gardens. It allows the garden’s natural beauty to take center stage while providing a clean and uncluttered aesthetic.
- Uncomplicated lines: Outdoor furniture with simple and clean lines blends harmoniously with the natural elements of the garden. It avoids overpowering or dominating the garden’s design, allowing the focus to remain on the garden’s essence.
- Natural materials: Choosing outdoor furniture made of natural materials like bamboo, wood, or rattan helps it blend seamlessly with the surroundings. This creates a sense of balance and authenticity in the Japanese garden.
- Neutral fabrics: Going for neutral fabrics, such as cotton or linen in muted tones, adds simplicity and elegance to the outdoor furniture. Neutral colors ensure the fabric doesn’t clash with the garden’s colors and textures, maintaining a cohesive and natural look.
6. Make your garden enchanting with pagoda-inspired lanterns
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Want to make your Japanese garden even more enchanting? Try adding pagoda-inspired lanterns! These elegant lights can improve your outdoor space by making it look more authentic and peaceful. Plus, they are a beautiful sight to see.
Before adding lanterns, think about where to place them and what materials they should be made from. Here are the benefits you can get by adding these idea:
- Authenticity: Stone lanterns in a pagoda style can make your garden look more like a real Japanese garden. Choose lanterns that match the design and style you’re aiming for, to ensure they fit in well with your garden.
- Creates tranquil atmosphere: The soft light from pagoda-style lanterns can make your garden feel calm and peaceful in the evenings. Consider using LED candles or low-heat lights. This way, you won’t damage delicate plants and trees.
- Makes visual interest: Pagoda-style lanterns can be the focus point of your garden. They can make it more interesting and fun to look at. Consider using lanterns of different sizes and materials to add variety.
- Material options: Pagoda-style lanterns can be made from a variety of materials. These include stone, wood, concrete, and metal. Choose materials that fit well with your garden’s design. This will ensure they blend well with the natural elements.
7. Turn your backyard into a calm oasis with the right color scheme
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With the right colors and the right features, you can turn your backyard into a calm oasis – a Japanese garden that’s pleasing to the eye and calming for the mind. This could be your own little getaway from everyday life, a place to relax and refresh. So, why not try it out? Here are color scheme ideas you can do:
- Green Color Scheme: Picking green as the main color in your garden is a good idea. It’s not just because green is a traditional color in Japanese gardens. It’s also because green helps create a sense of peace and calm. There are lots of ways to add green to your garden. You can use evergreen trees, decorative grasses, or even a blanket of moss. By choosing green, you’ll avoid colors that clash and could take away from the peaceful feel of the garden.
- Bold Crimson Accents: For those who want a little more color, you can add touches of red here and there. This can make the garden more interesting and give it depth. You can use a red trellis, pagoda, or fence. Just remember, don’t go overboard with the red. You want to keep your garden calm and peaceful, not chaotic.
- Water Lilies or Lotus Plants: If you have a water feature in your garden, think about adding water lilies or lotus plants. Their bright colors can add a pop of color and make your garden feel more alive. By choosing these plants, you’ll avoid having a garden that’s dull or lifeless. Your backyard will always be captivating and soothing.
- Keeping Colors Limited: In a Japanese garden, less is more. This means sticking to a few colors. This will keep the garden feeling authentic and make sure everything fits together well. This approach helps you avoid a design that’s too busy and could ruin the peaceful feeling of your garden.
Time to zen out!
And there you go, folks! We just shared 6 ideas for a Japanese garden in small backyards that can help you make a calm and peaceful spot while making the most out of your small space. With some careful plans and smart design, you can turn your little backyard into a peaceful place that feels like a quiet corner of Japan.
Use simplicity, balance, and nature to make a balanced outdoor area that’s calming and space-saving. So, don’t let a small backyard stop your imagination. Try these ideas and make a Japanese-style escape that brings beauty and calmness, even in a small area. Enjoy your gardening!