My Japanese Inspired Woodland Garden

This year I am so enamoured with my garden, of how it has aged, filled in, the play of light on the foliage, the golden creeping jenny with the kelly green of the Plantaginea Hostas enmass, and the play of light through the Asparagus Fern in the plant stand I found. Tis definitely my little oasis. We all need that escape, that tranquility, of a place to get lost in, to recharge, reset. For me that place is right outside my door, in my little Japanese inspired garden. I’ve embraced this year more of a Wabi-sabi sort of style, with pieces I’ve found along the side of the road – trash to treasure.

Japanese style mimics nature, of its lines, the textures, the play of light. This style is more symbolic of natural elements, of earth, air, fire and water. So to each of these I’ve given a nod, even adding a small water feature for the birds and one for the butterflies, candle holders here and there for illuminating a summer night.

As the hedgerow between me and the parking lot next door fills in, this in-between space comes into its own, blocking out the noise and distractions, a place for birds to flit through, of worms and butterflies, of light to dapple the fronds of ferns, or the graceful Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum.

I am enchanted by the plays of light, of shadows from the Black Walnut tree overhead, or the Ash Maple out front. Every morning I awake to the dawn chorus of the Cardinals, and the wee House Sparrows alike, and I feel blessed.

For me the blessings of a garden are the point of it all, for why I crafted this little nook along the side of the house, for myself, for my sanity, for to draw me out the door, quiet my mind, and to become mesmorized by it all.

The other elements I am mindful of, are basic elements all gardens, big or small, can adapt them – FORM, FUNCTION, FLOWER, FOLIAGE – choose one primary, and consider the order of the remaining 3. For this shady nook of mine, and in the style of a woodland environment, the primary is foliage, next form, function and finally flower.

The Japanese inspired ideas came to fruition last summer, as I looked around at what this little space was becoming, of that Creeping Jenny finally making its way along the sidewalk, filling in. I’ve even begun an artificial mounded area in the back corner, in Irish’ area, and I’m encouraging the Virginia Creeper that way, to fill in the whole back corner, as its forgiving of her trampling.

I watch the afternoon light, of the evening descending, sitting on my stoop, taking it all in.

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