When it comes to Japanese garden plants, the kind of flowers and plants you use would vary from one garden to the other. Many people have a misconception that in a Japanese style garden you have to use plants that are showy and those which look exotic. But this is not true in every case.
Actually, the real Japanese garden plants are the ones which complement the area near the garden. Therefore, exotic or showy plants would not fit in a Japanese style garden which is located in an exotic and showy area already. If you are residing in a mountainous region, your Japanese style garden should have mountain style flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. In the same way, if you are living in a wooded area, your Japanese style garden should be having plants that naturally grow in the woods.
Many Americans find this concept a little difficult to understand as it is very flexible. The main aim of a Japanese style garden is to merge with and complement the elements of nature around it. So, there is no exact look or list of plants you can use, or any design layout you can use in a Japanese style garden.
Having said this, there are certain flowers, plants and trees which are considered ideal for a Japanese style garden. Hence, most of the people like to incorporate these plants into a Japanese style garden.
To have a Japanese feel in your garden, you can always plant a bamboo in your garden area. You may have a variety of bamboo plants adding color and making your garden an interesting one too. The Heavenly or Nandina bamboo has colorful foliage and bright red berries.
A Japanese style garden also includes trees and shrubs like Japanese maples and yews. Prevalent plants for a Japanese style garden are any type of ornamental grass, trees, evergreen shrubs or deciduous trees. Choosing shrubs and trees having interesting colored barks or those creating striking shapes is always a good idea.
The vital elements apart from Japanese garden plants are stones and rocks, so planting various moss areas with shade and growing them over the stones makes a delightful accent area. You can put creeping plants on slopes or between the pathway stones. Planting dichondria between the pathway’s stepping stones works well too, and it will hold up better than moss in dry areas of the garden.
You might want to dedicate a part of your Japanese style garden for herbs that are used for tea. One of the 3 main gardens of a traditional Japanese style garden is the tea garden. So, having tea herbs in your garden will give it an extra touch of true Japanese style.
Azaleas are evergreen plants that will keep vital color in the garden all through winter. They will also provide a splash of bright color in spring. And, because it’s your Japanese style garden, if you desire to have showy or exotic plants, then you can scatter some of them as well.