New Japanese Garden WIP

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TimS
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by TimS »

Mate I can say having visited both of those you are pulling from some of the best gardens in Japan!

Get the moss going or even use ground covers instead. There is a low growing green ground cover that looks like a mound of moss called Scleranthus that could be substituted for moss since it’s a pain in the bum to get moss going.
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by damienw133 »

What can i say? i like a (monumental) challenge ;)

I tried Scleranthus a few years back but annoyingly didnt have much success with it - i have a feeling it got some sort of fungal issue, never really spread and just slowly died off

As far as the moss goes, thus far i've had mixed success with different varieties.
The strongest and easiest ones to establish thus far have been Polytrichum juniperum (juniper haircap moss) and somewhat predictably, pseudoscleropodium purum (neat feather moss).

Juniper haircap has been most useful on the really steep slopes as it seems to prefer relatively dry conditions and is able to grow in almost full shade and full sun, while neat feather moss seems to have been a bit more useful on some of the flatter areas that were a little wet for the other varieties i've got thus far. For an invasive weed it makes for a rather nice ground cover, especially since it grows faster than a lot of other species.

There have been a few other ones i've had some moderate success with, but thus far nothing has been as strong or as adaptable as those two.
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by MJL »

I reckon you're up for the challenge - this is going to a beautiful garden. :hooray: :tu2:
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by damienw133 »

Apologies in advance for the less than brilliant photos, but i thought i'd add another update of my progress thus far.
Its been slow going with the less than brilliant weather lately but its slowly coming along.
Garden2 copy.jpg
The dry waterfall has finally reached its (pretty much) final height as far as the rock work is concerned, though i still need to add another barrowload of soil to the top of it to round over the hill before i plant it up with tall and dwarf mondo and mosses.
Garden1 copy.jpg
Waterfallupdate.jpg

Also missing at this stage is an upright japanese maple that will be planted behind the waterfall on the street side of the mound, but hopefully i'll get a chance to put that in next weekend or soon after. Since the last update i've also added another japanese maple on the right side of the waterfall mound to hopefully introduce some orange/gold autumnal colour as a backdrop to the dwarf scots pine in the foreground.
Gardenfront.jpg
Garden3 copy.jpg
All in all i'm generally liking where its going, however, somewhat annoyingly, as i was getting close to the 'summit' it dawned on me that the left side of the waterfall was getting a little too steep for my liking, so i've added a japanese black pine about halfway up that i'm planning to train outwards to visually increase the width and depth of the mound. I'm thinking of also adding an enkianthus or two somewhere else in the side of the mound to create some extra layers to make the whole thing seem larger and deeper than it is too.

Aside from those big changes i've continued to tweak the edgings a little more, adding in some more epihpytic ferns, extra mosses and more mondo, to hopefully soften the rockiness a bit more. I've also got quite a few evergreen and deciduous azaleas and enkianthus that i've been pruning for a more 'branchy' look to reach out over and around the 'riverbank'/paths, but those are a ways off being planted for now.
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by melbrackstone »

Looking better every time we see it!
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by Ryceman3 »

I agree with Mel. There's a lot of hard work in that and I think it will look very cool when it settles in, matures and "lives" a bit... it already looks great!
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by bki »

Nice!!!
i love the handy works on the moss between the rocks.
more trees.....
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by damienw133 »

Howdy all,

Not much new to report at this point unfortunately as i've been feeling under the weather, but i've finally finished building up the waterfall to its finished height and planted it up.

I spent today weeding and spreading more moss around everything and figuring out what to do next...I'm not entirely happy with the shape of the waterfall 'hill' at this point as its looking a bit too volcano ish to me at the moment. But i'm hoping that once the black pine, enkianthus and maples fill out a bit more it might soften everything and round over the volcano silhouette a bit more.
photo_2020-08-30_18-34-38.jpg
photo_2020-08-30_18-34-41.jpg
photo_2020-08-30_18-34-47.jpg
photo_2020-08-30_18-34-43.jpg
As well as that i've started thinking about plantings to soften the edges of the path/dry stream a bit more and so spent yesterday moving pots around trying to get a bit of an idea of how things might look. There's far too much in these pics, but i'm thinking ferns + liriope, tall mondo and plenty of moss might give a more naturalistic look.
photo_2020-08-29_19-27-05.jpg
photo_2020-08-29_19-27-08.jpg
I'm also contemplating taking out the large azalea currently planted in front of the scots pine and turning that area into another moss/mondo covered mound.

At this point the upper area is largely done bar a healthy dose of fine tuning, so in the coming weeks i'll be starting on the landscaping in the next area down the hill which will no doubt force more fine tuning in the areas i've already worked on.
photo_2020-08-30_18-34-45.jpg
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by Mitch_28 »

Looks good now Damien, with time and age I imagine it will only get better. Great work!

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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by damienw133 »

Just a bit of an update from the latest bout of work...
This time featuring the borrowed scenery of an SES truck dealing with some fallen trees from last nights insane wind
Garden ground level.jpg
There's been lots of progress over the last week; some of the moss in the flatter sections of the first area i worked on hadnt been faring well with the constant rain from the last few months, so i decided to dig it out and raise the whole area up to eliminate the possibility of water pooling and rotting the remaining moss any further. At the same time i used the opportunity to move in more rocks and to plant an enkianthus peralatus to inject a little autumn colour into the area too.
Garden from steps.jpg
Front bed.jpg
At the same time as i was working on that section i finally decided to remove the azalea that was planted in front of the pine and instead raised the ground level up into another mossy/mondo mound with a bit more rock for good measure.

The treatment of the 'river bank'/rock edgings is in a slight state of evolution at the moment, as i've decided it was starting to look a bit too matchy matchy and regular, so i've started adding in a little more low rock and soil and making the pathways more irregular and jagged so that once its done the hillside will come right down to the gravel pathway, allowing for more mondo, liriope and other plantings to spill over the edges to soften the look a bit more and to add to the whole 'naturalistic' vibe i'm trying to go for.
azeala bed.jpg
Also, as a little tip for any other would be moss gardeners out there, black bird netting is the best stuff i've come across so far for holding moss in place and stopping birds from destroying it while still allowing you to be able to pull weeds through it. I've been pinning it down with bobby pins so it lays flat against the surface of the moss to allow it to grow through the netting and to keep birds from tearing too much of it up.

For autumn maintenance i've found tulle seems to be better at catching leaf litter though as it is so much finer than the bird netting and makes cleanup incredibly easy.
Side and netting.jpg
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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by MJL »

Really enjoying this thread - with you fully committed to the design but showing flexibility to adapt as knowledge and ideas grow. It’s looking wonderful and I appreciate all the knowledge you are passing on too. Great stuff.


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Re: New Japanese Garden WIP

Post by Stevegg »

She sure is coming along nicely mate. Well done. Cheers Steve
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