Plants Suitable for Japanese Gardens - Maples, Pines, Ginkgos, Azaleas and Bamboo
Plants are a very important element in a Japanese style garden, and if you could only grow a few types, then maples, bamboo and pines would be an absolute must. They are all very architectural plants and provide year-round interest, with Japanese maples producing fantastic autumnal shades, particularly the variety 'acer palmatum osakasuki'.
There are an enormous variety of different Japanese maples, some with green leaves, others with golden or purple leaves. Some maples can have large, hand-shaped leaves, while others are more delicate, with fancy, dissected leaves.
All are well suited to a Japanese garden and can either be planted in the ground or directly into a suitable pot. Well-drained soil is best, although once Japanese maples have established, they really can be very tolerant of a wide range of conditions that many would consider to be quite unsuitable, such as exposed windy situations, full sunshine and clay soil.
Pine trees are another desirable addition to any bonsai garden and in Japan, many ancient clipped pine trees exist, gracing the sides of lakes and pathways. In fact, some of these pine trees are now so old that their long branches have become unstable, needing to be supported by posts.
No Japanese garden would really be considered complete without at least a ginkgo tree or two, as well as some azaleas, which are frequently clipped into spherical shapes and provide a burst of colour in late spring.
Adding an Oriental Flavour to Your Garden
Displaying Bonsai in Your Garden
Plants Suitable for Japanese Gardens
Planting Bonsai in the Garden
Stepping Stones and Pathways
Ponds, Keeping Koi Carp and Water Features
Japanese Lanterns and Pagodas
Zen Gardens / Japanese Rock Gardens
Japanese Gardens - Finishing Touches