University of Florida

Japanese Gardens

There's more to a Japanese-style garden than stone lanterns and little bridges.

What makes this style of garden is more in the design philosophy than type of plants used. Space, a sense of proportion and balance are the hallmark of a Japanese garden. As one writer puts it, "nature is the ideal that you must strive for."

Japanese gardens are beautiful and peaceful places that strive to represent perfect harmony in nature. They’re designed based on three basic principles: reduced scale, symbolization, and borrowed view.

This style of garden derives beauty from a blending of different elements, including sand, rocks, water, plants, and ornaments such as lanterns and water basins.

Of course, there’s more than one kind of Japanese garden. Rock
gardens have strategically placed rocks and sand raked into intricate designs. Strolling gardens require visitors to walk along a path, visiting certain spots that prompt them to look at
specific elements. Tea and pond gardens are also typical styles.

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