Cover image for Creating a Japanese garden
Creating a Japanese garden
Chan, Peter, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : PRC/Sterling, [2003]

Physical Description:
176 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB458 .C43 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Being fixed/mended

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Draw inspiration from a colorful photographic tour of outstanding examples, and follow a master designer as he goes one step at a time through the entire process of constructing a unique Courtyard, Strolling, and Zen Garden. Each project includes illustrated instructions, and covers an assortment of garden elements such as rocks, water, plants, fences, ladders, stepping stones, lanterns, and gates.

Author Notes

Peter Chan is the founder of Herons Bonsai, and winner of sixteen Chelsea Gold Medals. He is also a prolific designer and builder of beautiful Japanese gardens, including the Royal Horticultural Society's bonsai collection at Wisley, England. The author of five best-selling books on bonsai, he has appeared on numerous television programs and his work has been featured widely in magazines and newspapers. Peter is a member of the prestigious Association of Professional Landscapers

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Stressing simplicity and elegance, Chan explains the key elements ofapanese gardening: rocks, plants, water, paths, gravel, and stepping stones. He describes the four main types ofapanese gardens--the stroll garden, the Zen temple garden, the tea garden, and the courtyard garden--and suggests trees and plants for each of them, chosen not just for their beauty and gracefulness but also for their symbolism. The cardinal rule, he writes, is less is more. There's a list of shrubs, trees, evergreen conifers, herbaceous plants, cycads, grasses, bamboos, and moss to create a garden as well as suggestions on choosing lanterns, bridges, fences, and water basins. There are suggested projects, such as a riverside garden and a large stroll garden the author has worked on. All 176 pages have color photographs that will encourage readers to createapanese gardens in their own backyards. --George Cohen Copyright 2003 Booklist

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 6
General Principlesp. 8
Defining characteristicsp. 10
Historical, religious, and cultural influencesp. 10
Types of Japanese Gardensp. 16
Stroll gardensp. 18
Zen or kare-sansui gardensp. 20
The Zen wayp. 23
Zen gardens to visitp. 27
Tea gardensp. 30
Courtyard gardensp. 34
Elements of a Japanese Gardenp. 38
Introductionp. 38
Design considerationsp. 40
Aesthetic principlesp. 40
Symbolismp. 42
Practical considerationsp. 44
Plantsp. 46
Choosing plantsp. 51
Plant listp. 52
Shrubsp. 52
Treesp. 60
Evergreen conifersp. 65
Herbaceous plantsp. 69
Cycads, grasses, and bamboosp. 72
Moss and its alternativesp. 74
Rocksp. 76
Choice of rocks: size, shape, color, and texturep. 79
The placement of rocksp. 82
Waterp. 84
Water featuresp. 88
Accessoriesp. 90
Projectsp. 96
A small courtyard gardenp. 96
Riverside gardenp. 102
Large stroll gardenp. 110
Author's stroll gardenp. 118
A selection of other projectsp. 124
Low-maintenance suburban gardenp. 124
Contemporary gardenp. 126
Author's front gardenp. 128
RHS Wisleyp. 130
Old manor house gardenp. 132
Kingswoodp. 133
A koi gardenp. 134
Favorite Japanese Gardensp. 136
Sankei-enp. 138
Koishikawa Koraku-enp. 142
Fifteenth-century Samurai housep. 144
Ritsurin Parkp. 148
The Zen Gardens of Kyotop. 150
Tofuku-jip. 150
Zuiho-inp. 154
Tenryu-jip. 154
Daisen-inp. 160
Ryoan-jip. 166
Sanjo-en Hotel gardenp. 170
The Moss Gardenp. 174
Indexp. 176