Day 152: My Japanese Garden

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Today, as the last plants for my version of a Japanese Garden went into the ground, I decided I could “call” this one, and declare it as my first. Cedar mulch was also put down. I still have several important elements to include: a water feature or at the least, a large basin of water on the ground, a Japanese lantern, and a dry “creek” bed created from smooth, small stones. But the planting is done. The rest will be added as I find the right pieces.

As the sun sunk toward the horizon, I sat contentedly in a chair on the brick patio, and surveyed my work. My grandson, Dayan, helped to design this garden. He selected most of the plants and helped me to arrange them on the ground, still in their pots. I planted them as I had time. We had fun looking for appropriate Japanese or Asian plants . The Japanese maple is the anchor for this part of the garden. We included a variety of ornamental grasses, clematis, irises, day lilies, Japanese ground cover, and several Asiatic lilies. Those had fun, whimsical names like Tiny Robin, Tiny Bee and Tiny Toes. They are so aromatic. Their sweet scent was carried to me by a refreshing, cool breeze.

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Greg lugged in quite a few large rocks for me, finding most of them in a vacant lot. He got permission to cart them away. Rocks are an essential element for a Japanese garden and I love the look of them. Their red, brown, rust and cream colors complement the patio very well. The cats love climbing onto them and sitting there, kings of their world. In fact, the cats seem to enjoy the garden as much as I do, exploring it daily and finding shady spots to take their afternoon naps. As the garden matures, it will be a fun place for them to play.

It feels wonderful to have this section of the garden completed. Extending across the back of the yard, this serene space abuts the brick patio on its west side and ends at the meditation area. It’s not large enough to be a strolling garden, but it conveys a sense of peace, tranquility and beauty. Today as I planted and spread mulch, tiny white butterflies darted from flower to flower. I look forward to attracting many more butterflies to the garden.

With that part of the yard done, I’m turning my attention to the next section that I will plant. The Japanese garden will transition into an Apothecary Garden, which will lie in the middle of the yard and along the south side of the patio. I’ve already made a list of suitable plants and herbs to purchase. Tonight, before I headed into the house, I broke ground in the center of the Apothecary Garden and planted three East Friesland sage plants. I just couldn’t wait!

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