By adding some distinctive elements and planting exotic plants and flowers in your garden, you can recreate the charming garden styles of many regions of the world and give an appealing look to the area around your home at which your neighbors will look with envy.
Japanese Art Of Gardening – Zen Gardens
The origin of Zen gardens landscaping has its base in Japan. Basically the warriors of Japanese samurai, who were the followers of Zen Buddhism, perfected the art of Zen gardens landscaping. They believed that by leading a simple and humble life they will achieve their way to enlightenment. The gardening skills of Zen priests were very developed and thus they developed Zen garden landscaping, which corresponds with their humility and also shows the power which nature possesses. Yin and Yang are the two essentials of any Zen garden. Yin and Yang are believed to be complimentary forces and either Yin or Yang is always present in each and every element of Zen gardens. The biggest challenge in creating a Zen garden is to create a balance between Yin and Yang. The important five elements of a Zen garden landscaping are space, plant, water, sand, and stones.
The most important part of any Zen garden is stones. Stones are considered as Yang elements and their placement in the garden as well as their size and shape have specific rules. Stones represent mountains and islands. Any stone can be characterized by their age and size. For designing a Zen garden landscape stones, which are horizontal or vertical, are used. Generally 3-5 stones are used to make a design.
Sand has Yin elements and in any Zen garden landscaping, water is represented by sand. Gravel is also used instead of sand. Gravel can be white or darker. White represents the Yin and darker gravel represents Yang.
The idea behind using plants is to create an aesthetic design in the garden. Pine trees are used quite often in Zen gardens because they can survive on low maintenance. Bamboo is also an important part of a Zen garden. Bamboo trees are invasive in nature so they are very carefully used in the design. Moss is also used if the climate is humid because moss grows really well if the climate is humid. Japanese maples in Zen garden landscaping represent life cycle.
In Zen gardens it is believed that the movement of water creates positive energy so water is always used in its natural shape. Water represents the Yin element and waterfalls are an integral part of Zen garden landscaping. Cluttered spaces are believed to be not good as they do not allow the flow of positive energy, so open spaces are a must in Zen gardens.
These days Zen gardens are a rage in the West. Zen gardens are environmental friendly as well as healthy for you, are low maintenance and easy to create. Besides they are believed to relax your body, soul and mind. Zen gardens created in small boxes also known as small Zen gardens are widely used in offices where stress levels are generally high.
Australian Landscape Gardening
Many Australian gardeners say Australia’s gardening designs are “borrowed” from places like England and Japan. But Australia has many native plants that make the Australian landscape gardening unique. Those described here are but a few of many Australian plants available to gardeners. For more information on the Australian landscape gardening contact the Australian government’s Department of the Environment and Heritage or the Australian Botanical Gardens.
The genus Acacia is important to the Australian landscape gardening because one of its species, the Golden Wattle, is in Australia’s national floral emblem. The Australians even celebrate Wattle Day of the first of September each year. There are almost a thousand species of Acacia in Australia, and they make wonderful garden plants. Their flowers are arranged in either globular heads or cylindrical spikes. Depending on the species, there can be as few as three individual flowers to over one hundred and thirty. These plants flower throughout the year. Regular pruning will help these plants live longer.
Leptospermum, commonly known as tea trees, are also popular on the Australian landscape gardening. They are so-named because early Australian settlers used the leaves as a substitute for tea. There are eighty-three species. The tea trees are excellent garden plants. They have a tight, compact growth that makes them good screen plants. They are hardy plants that thrive in most types of soil.
Among the most interesting plants in the Australian landscape gardening are the Kangaroo Paws. These unique plants are exported all over the world. Kangaroo Paws vary in height and color depending on the species. The one called Bush Ranger has orange flowers that grow on stalks up to fifty centimeters tall. It is drought tolerant and can survive mild frost. The species known as Dwarf Delight has apricot colored flowers on stalks up to eighty centimeters tall.
This plant is known for its longevity. The Tall Kangaroo Paw has flowers in a wide variety of colors, but most commonly yellow-green. This plant is adaptable to a wide range of soil and climate conditions. It grows well in full sunlight or partial shade. The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw has brilliant red and green flowers on a stalk about a meter high. It is a short-lived plant that botanists treat as an annual. Another favorite is called Pink Joey. It has salmon-pink flowers on spikes about fifty centimeters long. It, too, is a hardy plant. The Black Kangaroo Paw likes the sun and does not grow well in cool climates. Its flowers and stalks are covered by a dense layer of black hairs. There is much more for the gardener to discover about the Australian landscape gardening.
Tibetan Landscape Gardening
Think of the name Tibet, and the images that come to mind are dramatic: the highest mountains in the world, ancient Buddhist monasteries perched upon craggy precipices, and centuries-old villages clustered in isolated valleys. But Tibet is also a land of thousands of species of exotic flora. Perhaps you cannot travel to Tibet, but through Tibetan landscape gardening you can bring some of the atmosphere of that mysterious country at the roof of the world to your own garden.
Tibetan landscape gardening offers many plants with which to beautify your garden. One is the buddleia, a large deciduous shrub. This plant’s flowers are lilac colored and very fragrant. The slender leaves are a grey-green color. The buddleia can reach a height of fifteen feet.
Another beauty of Tibetan landscape gardening is the cotoneaster, a shrub that has pinkish-white flowers in summer, followed by a bright red fruit. Sometimes the fruit is black. The round, dark green leaves turn orange in the autumn. The cotoneaster can reach six to eight feet in height and spread.
A close relative is the rockspray cotoneaster. The plant is flat, with herringbone branches. It is one of the most widely grown of the cotoneasters. It blooms with small pink flowers. In fall the foliage turns from dark green to bright red. This plant will grow to a height of two to five feet, and will spread over ten feet.
The creeping cotoneaster is not as hardy as some of its relatives, but it is a good plant for groundcover. It has small pink and white flowers and grows to a height of one foot.
The liliaceae is one of Tibet’s most famous plants. It has pea sized white bulbs that are believed to have medicinal properties, and are dried for export to China.
A favorite plant of Tibetan landscape gardening is the goji berry plant, which is sometimes confused with the wolfberry. The fruit of the goji berry is sweet, while that of the wolfberry is bitter. The goji berry plant grows well in almost any kind of soil, including medium loamy, light sandy, and clay. It does best in well-drained soil. Once the goji berry plant establishes its root system, it stands up well to dry conditions. However, it does not grow well in wet conditions. This plant likes lots of sun, but can tolerate some shade. The goji berry plant can grow up to ten feet tall, and its vines can reach twelve feet. Its trumpet shaped flowers are purple and white. The plant provides its sweet, juicy berries in late summer. This special plant from Tibetan landscape gardening also makes a good indoor houseplant.