Japanese Garden

I’ve loved Japanese Gardens for a very long time and I think Mr Iced Vovo caught the bug when we visited Kyoto in 2012 and he saw all the wonderfully manicured gardens that are spread across the city not just at the temples but along the streets and in side alleys too. So, when we moved in to our new abode and saw a space perfect for a garden makeover we decided to transform one side of the house into a Japanese inspired garden.

Once we had scoured through our array of temple books we also got on line and had a little look around to get a few ideas. Next we drafted up a rough plan on some paper and then headed off to the nurseries to get started.

Coarse gravel, weed mat and weeds!
Coarse gravel, weed mat and weeds!
Peeling back the rubble
Peeling back the rubble
A slow but cathartic process!
A slow but cathartic process!
Dispersing the rocks around the garden
Dispersing the rocks around the garden
Creating a border
Creating a border
Dividing the space
Dividing the space
Adding some stones and plants
Adding some stones and plants
New plants strategically placed!
New plants strategically placed!
The area coming back to life
The area coming back to life
Moss and ground cover plants going in between the pavers
Moss and ground cover plants going in between the pavers
Now it's time to watch them grow!
Now it’s time to watch them grow!
Another angle
Another angle

What caught our eye first was the cute standard ficus that had already been sculptured into two ball-kind-of-shapes. Then came an azalea, a variety of mosses, a black mondo, and a few other specialty Tasmanian plants. We then travelled up to Lachlan to our secret place where we found some wonderful rocks many with moss already attached-perfect for features in the garden! We then found a delicate pink fuchsia, and a lovely small weeping Cherry Blossom for the centrepiece. To complete the garden we got a tall man-fern and a stone temple.

The hardest part was the initial clearing off of the course gravel, pulling up the dreaded and despised weed matting and then turning over the soil and clearing it of roots and weeds that had collected under the mat. Once that was done (about 4 days worth of work) we had a relatively clean slate to work with.

We have kept some of the course gravel to use as dividing rocks between the sections of the garden: creating a path for the mower etc to be able to taken from the garage to the back garden; and then the Japanese garden itself. We also used some of the course gravel in a bed at the back of the house where we removed other rocks and more of the dreaded weed matting.

The last stage was getting some finer grade white gravel to use in the garden beds and to try and rake some into patterns, as is seen in many Japanese gardens.

Now that everything is in we just need to wait and watch it grow and develop and decide along the way what is working or what might need to be added or adjusted.

A standard, sculptured ficus adds some interest
A standard, sculptured ficus adds some interest
An azalea settles into its new location
An azalea settles into its new location
Fuschia about to bloom
Fuschia about to bloom
Moss covered rocks help set the theme
Moss covered rocks help set the theme
Petit blue flowers
And the above plant now in bloom with Petit blue flowers
Black mondo brings colour and texture
Black mondo brings colour and texture
Jasmine will eventually soften the fence as well as provide a lovely scent
Jasmine will eventually soften the fence as well as provide a lovely scent
This little fella is one of the many plants endemic to Tasmania we have planted
This little fella is one of the many plants endemic to Tasmania we have planted
Teeny-tiny white blooms
Teeny-tiny white blooms
Plants and rocks taking shape
Plants and rocks taking shape
Creating symmetry in the garden
Creating symmetry in the garden
Our own mini temple
Our own mini temple
Now it's time for upkeep and perhaps just a few more moss plants
Now it’s time for upkeep and perhaps just a few more moss plants
Our Japanese Garden taking shape
Our Japanese Garden taking shape
Mondo grass added for interest and to help soften the space
Mondo grass added for interest and to help soften the space
Gravel moved to this bed for greater impact
Gravel moved to this bed for greater impact
We've created a gravel pathway between the areas
We’ve created a gravel pathway between the areas
The last bed gets cleared
The last bed at the back gets cleared
New plants taking shape
New plants taking shape
Our garden
Another garden bed we’ve changed
Out with the prickly plants and in with the new
Out with the prickly plants and in with the new
Our Back Yard
Our Back Yard
Another view of the Back Yard
Another view of our Back Yard

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