Japanese Water Gardens

A Place of Peaceful Restraint

Woven patterns of rock, water and foliage, Japanese water gardens demand restraint. In quiet resolve, these gardens serve to showcase nature’s authentic beauty. Absent is the showiness and artificiality of the modern age—every element requires a position and a purpose. The high art of Japanese gardens—and it’s clearly defined design principles—has survived for centuries, in traditional form and bold iterations.

Japanese water gardens are designed to connect water and earth, land and sky through four elements: stone, plants, color and water. Although typically smaller in size, the composition of elements creates the impression of a larger landscape—smaller rocks in the back, for example, larger rocks in the foreground.

Peace and tranquility draw-in admirers; passersby for a quiet stroll, birds grateful for an afternoon drink and creatures slowly cutting through clear water. Koi offer a dramatic effect with reflective scales of gold, silver, orange and red.

An OASE pond pump will ensure the water is clean and clear, a requirement of the Japanese water garden. Circulating water throughout the pond, an OASE pump aerates and nurtures pond foliage and healthy aquatic life. It will guard against algae growth and mosquito reproduction by creating movement of water. Matching the pump to the size of your pond ensures efficiency and effectiveness. Or consider an OASE Waterfall Pump—the sound of water will accentuate the atmosphere of tranquility and peace in the landscape. With a choice between a “sheet”, “trickle” or “Niagara” water flow, the water feature will enhance the design of your outdoor space.

In Japanese water gardens, ponds serve to symbolize larger bodies of water—rivers or oceans. Plants line banks of the pond, standing at rigid attention as tree branches dangle over the edge in a delicate balancing act. Japanese water iris, bamboo, moss, bonsai, dwarf Japanese maples and lily pads represent the monochromatic hues of nature. (If you’re willing to bend the rules, just a little, a range of brighter colors can be introduced—the blues of hydrangea, pinks of azalea and purples of rhododendron, to name a few.)

A plant or tree with peculiar or interesting branches—conifers are regularly featured—is often the centerpiece of the garden. Mugo Pine, Dwarf Hinoki Cypress, Hollywood Juniper or the Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce are a few standouts.

These gardens are not meant to be a one-dimensional experience. The Japanese garden is meant to be unwrapped, slowly and beautifully. Every detail is meant to be studied and appreciated. It is a garden of meandering paths, layered textures and varying perspective—a journey of discovery.