Ideas for Small Garden Designs

Ideas for Small Garden Designs

Ideas for small Japanese gardens, including small garden ponds and rock pools, and exotic small garden designs.

¶ Where people have only a small garden, say in the back yard of a city home or in some nook that can be spared from the front lawn, an experiment with the possibilities of rocks, ferns and a small stream of water would bring rich returns. We need no temple lanterns or images of Buddha in this country, but we do need the kind of garden that brings to our minds the recollection of mountain brooks, wooded ravines and still lakes, and while it takes much thought, care and training of ones power of observation and adjustment to get it, the question of space is not one that has to be considered, and the expense is almost nothing at all.

Garden Rock Pool
Garden Rock Pool.
Example of what may be done with a very small supply of water. The pool here is fed solely by a tiny stream which issues from the dragons mouth and forms a gentle cascade over the rocks.

¶ The thing to be most avoided is imitation either of the Japanese models from which we take the suggestion for our own little gardens or of the scenery of which they are intended to remind us. It is safest to regard such gardens merely as an endeavor on our part to create something that will call into life the emotion or memory we wish to perpetuate.

Japanese Pond
Japanese Pond.
Rest house and pond in a japanese garden, showing temple lantern, small image of Buddha and the effect of rocks around the margin framing the aquatic plants in the pool.

¶ All these suggestions are for a small garden such as would naturally belong to a city or suburban house, but if such effects can be produced here in a corner and by artificial means, it is easy to imagine what could be done with large and naturally irregular grounds, say on a hillside, or where a natural brook wound its way through the garden, giving every opportunity for the picturesque effects that could be created by very simple treatment of the banks, by a bridge or a pool here and there and by a little adjustment of the rocks lying around.

Rock Garden
Rock Garden.
View of the garden entire, showing what a small space in the yard is occupied by an arrangement which gives the amazing effects shown in the preceding photos.

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