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.
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.