It’s always fun to experiment with garden themes, and this week’s theme is Japanese gardening! From grasses to shrubs and trees, we’ve got all you need to sculpt your landscape into a masterpiece inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun.
Sakura or Cherry blossoms are deeply interwoven into Japanese culture. “Sakura Sakura” is a famous Japanese folk song about the coming of spring and the clouds of pink cherry blossoms which herald the season. There are even cherry blossom viewing festivals known as Hanami where people gather near the trees and picnic beneath them while enjoying their ephemeral beauty.
While you might not have the space or patience for a full fledged cherry tree in your landscape Sakura Pigsqueak makes an ideal substitute. It’s eye-catching rose pink bloom clusters are as soothing and gorgeous as real sakura and grow much more quickly than their namesake. Best of all, this Bergenia has a lengthy vase life so you can have your own Hanami indoors any time you please.
This subtle and robust grass is native to the forests of Japan and is a handsome addition to shaded wilderness gardens. ‘Fubuki’ means blizzard or snowstorm and it no-doubt earns that name from its radiant white stripes which stand out especially in low light. For its final trick the arching foliage blushes when fall arrives, turning an appealing shade of pink.
Part of the pleasure of nature is that it is never 1 dimensional, but often encompasses several senses at once. Such can be said for this weeping beauty. Japanese Snowbell is a petite, fast growing tree which rains down a torrent of thousands of aromatic blooms for months beginning at the first signs of spring. The countless dove-like flowers are so numerous they make the tree seem snow covered and they all release a sweet and unforgettable scent. First, Fragrant Fountain dazzles the eyes and then it steals your breath away!
For subtle, elegant beauty in a specimen tree, you can’t do much better than Japanese Maples and this one is truly astonishing. Kurenai means ‘Crimson,’ but you could probably guess that from one glance at its brilliant foliage. Don’t let its name fool you, however; This Japanese Maple boasts more than just red hues. Expect to see shades of gold, purple and green during its transition from spring to fall. Magnificent in form, texture, and color, Kurenai Jishi is everything you could ask for in a Japanese themed garden.
So far we’ve seen grasses, shrubs, trees…what are we missing?
Ah yes, vines! What garden is truly complete without vines? Clematis have always been favorites of ours, but Omoshiro is on another level. Its name means “interesting” and we’re sure you’ll agree that this climber is most certainly that. The large, slightly curved flowers flaunt elegant petals which are snowy pink on top but deep magenta on the reverse. Quite the fascinating view, wouldn’t you agree?
Tanoshii desu ne? (Wasn’t that fun?) We hope so! Please comment and send us questions or suggestions about other garden themes you’d like us to explore. And, as always, happy gardening!