By Ashley Houston

Japanese gardens are noted for their extensive use of water features, rocks or stones and plants that are used as the focus or main settings or accents or as symbols. Rocks and stones are widely used in paths or walkways for practical considerations or as a backdrop for other garden elements, as well as to draw the attention of the visitors to some important features.

Large rocks will make excellent covers to screen off parts or sections of a garden. For example, perhaps your water hoses and water connection are near an area of your garden and you don't want it visible to visitors. A large boulder and complimentary bush would hide the out-of-place items, yet allow you access to use them as needed.

You may use rocks in areas that are not suitable for growing plants. Sometimes you will find one particular area in your garden where plants just don't seem to do well, no matter what you plant or what you do to the soil. There are always places that are not suited for planting. In that situation, rocks and stones are conveniently available.

Use rocks to enhance a water feature. Stones and rocks can be placed in or in the immediate surroundings of water features to enhance its appearance. Next to a water basin, a smooth, flat stone could be used for kneeling down to the basin. A large rock with the flat surface would be a convenient place to sit awhile.

Stones and boulders can help define a pathway. In curves or turns, stones may be arranged to point the way and also double as objects of interests. The idea is for visitors to linger a while and take a closer look and appreciate his surroundings.

Not all parts of a garden are accessible or meant to be. Placing stones in strategic areas will prevent people from wandering into off limit areas. However, obstructions should be placed or arranged to avoid the impression of fencing off people.

Where plants are the centerpiece, stones can be used as the background. Pieces of rocks can be positioned to form angular or vertical formations to complement plant formations. They should however be positioned unobtrusively in order not to take the spotlight from the plant arrangements.

Rocks and stones are used to riprap walls and slopes. If necessary, the boulders and larger stones can be piled up to make up some kind of divider or wall. Riprap stairways will look natural in a garden with elevated areas.

Rocks and stones are used in manmade streams. As in nature, rocks are always found along a streambed. They will not only define the banks but will also kept the earth in place.

About the Author:

blog comments powered by Disqus