Friday, July 15, 2022

Queen of France

Theme Gardens: Japanese Shofuso with Zen

shofuso garden design
A Serene Garden

Zen, Shofuso & Ikebano

The Tranquil, "Pine Breeze Villa", Flower arrangements on a grand scale.
Imagine walking into your own backyard, and it was a real forest scene with delicate formed topiaries of azaleas with thick green carpets of clovers and mosses.
A large pond or waterfall hosting fish, with tall pines to nest the birds.
Poetic, quiet, and serene.
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Pond with Floral Bushes

Japanese Garden House

Well, the option to create a little Japanese house that borders the garden edge would be more official-looking. Yet, it's not necessary. A few Japanese-looking screens, and occasional lanterns along the side of the house area will help fit the Japanese style.

How Popular Are They?

The sanctuary garden effect is really for the home-owner to experience every day. However, they're such interesting gardens, that you might attract a bunch of curious people, who would love to see your "Japanese Forest"
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Smaller Shofuso Garden

Backyard Spaces: Large & Small

The conversion would take some effort, but even a smaller garden can accommodate the theme., A few basic items help to define the space as a Shofuso:
  1. Pine trees
  2. Water feature: waterfall, pond or brook (river)
  3. Floral bushes
  4. Calm ground-covers
  5. Delicate Pathways
  6. A Bridge, with or without a small island.
  7. Large Garden Ornament(s), boulders
  8. Low maintenance, once established.
Oddly, planting varieties are much more minimal in retrospect to a typical English Cottage Garden. The bushes tamed into rounded forms, with ground-cover which takes up most of the ground space.
The sky itself is often an important interplay, where clouds chance the mirror upon the water.
However, it's not for everyone to have an open garden look. If left too-open, the garden could be appear as "amusement-park tacky", like a disneyland with it's very open sky, waiting for a giant costumed creature to shake your hand.
The trusty trees are a mandatory planting, in order to create the "symbolic refuge effect".
shofuso garden design 2
Shofuso River Look

Waterfalls & Rivers

The meandering river directly off from a back porch would be amazing. Water intensive though, an easier garden in rainy regions, especially.
Desert gardeners, the re-circulation process can be done, even filtered gray water sent from the house to create a humid environment. In drought areas, ponds & mini-rivers would need to be replenished with water often. i.e., an average desert region pond requires a refill once a week during the summer of approx 10 - 20%.
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Waterfall with Koi Fish
Believe it or not, some states do not allow the plumbers to re-route gray water, so, gray-water is an Ecological Political issue.
Converted, Laundry and shower water (botanical soaps) can bring thousands of gallons into a garden space from an avergae sized house. If you do it yourself, it may effect your property re-sell values. The thousands of gardening gallons are there, they're simply going into the sewer systems. Another political fight on the eco-table.
Mosquitoes are an issue, but with fish the larvae doesn't late long, and becomes their dinner. I prefer to include the mosquito dunks & recirculating the water as a precaution.
Water features of course also attract, small mammals, birds, amphibians (toads, frogs and salamanders), snakes and even turtles.

Famous Japanese Gardens

There are the Shofuso in Philadelphia and The Huntington Botanical in Los Angeles. As well as a few other notables like the busy Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco, with it's steep bridge.
The Huntington using more of the Ikenobo technique which can look a bit more wilded. Allowing for large decorative grasses.
Note, the size of the Huntington, which in the image, is actually the same as a typical backyard (rear garden) space in the USA.
Showing that given the chance, the delicate theme of a Zen directional garden, from Japan can exist on most plots of property.
List of Japanese Gardens
in the United States.

Cherry Blossoms & Geta's

Don't forget your Geta's !
Fun wooden sandals worn by men and women.
Ready to pour tea,
while resting into the ideal of a respected space.
shofuso garden design
Japanese Geta Garden Shoes
shofuso garden
Waterfall's Plethera
Cherry blossoms to Weeping pines
bringing the Japanese motif into reality.
Imagine the birds, as they stop over,
"What is this magnificence,
the land of Nature's Utopia?
I must stay & rest my idle hours,
to ponder my journey's next."