Japanese-style contemporary courtyard garden in Berkshire

Japanese-style contemporary courtyard garden in Berkshire

This Japanese-style garden design was created for a client in Berkshire.

Our client wanted to replace the old paving and lawn with a stylish, new low maintenance courtyard garden design. Their brief to Artscape was to create a modern, minimalist look that would reflect the interior style of their property, a converted barn and stable block. Specific requirements included a seating and barbecue area.

After exploring ideas together, our client decided on a Japanese-style zen garden design, inspired by their collection of bonsai trees. Bonsai is an ancient Japanese art form which uses horticultural pruning and training techniques to produce small living trees in containers that are perfect miniature versions of fully-grown trees.

The resulting design is a serene and harmonious dry garden where rocks and plants are carefully composed to resemble a miniature stylised landscape. We drew inspiration from a number of natural materials to design and build the dry pond feature of strategically-placed soft grey stones. These paddlestones provide the effect of ripples on water and give the garden a peaceful feel. Paddlestones are flat, disc-shaped pieces of stone with soft, rounded edges. They are often used in Japanese style gardens to represent water. This is achieved by placing the paddlestones beside each other like fish scales as you can see here.

Landscaping design for the Japanese-style garden

The grey pebble stone centrepiece was created to symbolise water, and this was enhanced with the ‘floating bridge’ of stones. The garden landscaping is finished with a stunning resin bonded gravel and bespoke sawn Yorkstone which complements the interior of the house. Resin bonded gravel has the appearance of scattered stone but with far more grip and anti-slip qualities than loose gravel. It needs less upkeep too. Sawn Yorkstone is a native sandstone noted for its incredible hardness and durability.

Moving further into the garden, roughly rivened stone gives an aged appearance while in contrast, lush architectural planting softens and frames the courtyard to provide that wow factor.

Japanese-style planting scheme

The Japanese-style planting scheme includes bamboo bushes in decorative pots which soften the front of the property with their beautiful foliage. Japanese acers, also known as Japanese Maple, which are deciduous ornamental trees, with stunning foliage and delicate forms. Pittosporum tobira, a medium-sized evergreen shrub with glossy and small sweetly-scented flowers opening white and turning yellow in late spring. Summer colour is provided by elegant irises.

This courtyard garden can be viewed from all sides and from above and the design and layout will keep the eye entertained and engages when you look at it from different angles. With exquisite design and thoughtful planting, a Japanese dry garden will enchant and intrigue and be a place for calm and contemplation.

Contemporary Garden Before

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