Here’s an article for anyone looking to make the most of their petite plots of land.

The beauty of ornamental Japanese landscaping is that it can be achieved in the smallest of spaces. A small front yard or back yard can be transformed into an intimate natural escape. It takes meticulous Wellington landscaping design to achieve this style, but the results are going to have you practically living in your garden.


The inspiration

The core concept of the Japanese garden is to take a view and scale it down into sections. Japanese gardens are usually inspired by natural vistas: waterfalls, footbridges, riverbeds, fields and forests. These landscapes get scaled down to decorate delightful little pathways with small footbridges, ‘rivers’ fashioned with pebbles, ‘waterfalls’ fashioned with fountains, and forests and fields conveyed through patches of grass surrounded by beautiful foliage.

The composition is key too. If you have a hilly garden with a few abstract dips, you’re essentially looking at the perfect canvas for an interesting Japanese garden composition. A clever landscape designer will be able to weave walkways, ‘forests’ and ‘rivers’ through these grassy ‘mountains’, creating a beautiful natural narrative for you to explore each time you visit your garden.


The intimacy

As we mentioned earlier, Japanese landscaping works wonders in smaller spaces. Abstract shapes help (rather than hinder) the overall design, and provide exciting challenges for a Wellington landscaping designer to overcome. With pathways paved through ‘rivers’ of artistically-placed bark, pebbles or river stones, you’ll have a lovely little walkway to escape to (or through) right outside your door.

Frame everything with some privacy-ensuring foliage, and perhaps a few serene water features, and you’ll have all the elements required to appreciate the land outside your interior.


The discipline  

Japanese gardens aren’t exactly ‘set and forget’ arrangements. Generally, Wellington landscaping is designed to be established and left alone, for the most part. With loads of wind and rain pelting our properties, we’re content to let nature take care of itself outside. The Japanese garden, however, will require a little more TLC to maintain those meticulous paths. In this regard, we would recommend requesting that your Wellington landscaping expert consider native plants for the design. Native plants are hardier than the more ornamental exotic alternatives, meaning they’ll give you all those lovely landscaping looks without making you work for them.


As Japanese gardens focus more on elegant foliage and greenery rather than flowers, you can ask your Wellington landscape designer to go to town with frilly New Zealand ferns and plush mosses.