The natural tranquility of an Asian garden offers the ideal space for relaxation and reflection. Four primary symbolic elements can be found in every Japanese garden: water, stone, artifacts, and greenery. Water symbolizes purity, softness, and a way for the energy to flow through the garden. Stone symbolizes timelessness, age, character, and strength. Artifacts such as a hand carved lantern or pagoda symbolize the human element in the garden. Greenery symbolizes life embodied in living plant material. You don’t need a lot of space to have an Asian garden, but it must include all four symbolic elements. Encorporating layers into the garden is also very important since it encourages the flow of “chi” or the life force.
In Asian gardens, the focus is placed on the rich greens and browns which are naturally present in the landscape. This is punctuated by bursts of color here and there from specimen plants or sculpture. Some plants which are often found in Asian gardens include: Japanese Maples, Japanese Painted Ferns (Athyrium), mosses, groundcovers such as Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra), Lily-turf (Liriope), bamboo, Azaleas, and evergreens.
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