“In Southern California, switch out the standard bamboo water fountain for anything more suited to arid climates.”
KOHEI OWATARI KOHEI OWATARI KOHEI OWATARI KOHE
Adding plants to your Zen Garden is a great way to make it more interesting.
Kohei, for example, uses plants that are native to Southern California in his Zen Garden installations (Keep reading for a detailed list of his favorites). Bamboo water fountains are standard in Japanese gardens, and they fill and empty as the water cycles, and gravity works its magic. However, in California, using bamboo in this manner is fraught with risk. Our arid climate is noted by Kohei, who observes that harvested bamboo does not last long in dry weather.
Instead, he uses natural stone, carving, hand-chiseling special water features, or copper pipes to replace the conventional material. The Garden can withstand the test of time in SoCal, even in drier years, thanks to the use of stone fountains and adaptations to his plant choices.
Make sure you’re not using moss as a ground cover! Despite its popularity in Japanese gardens, it does not thrive as a ground cover in drier climates such as San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Moss thrives in hot and rainy conditions.
Day Lilies Pittosporum (Japanese Boxwood) Pittosporum (Japanese Boxwood) Pittosporum (Japanese
Hawthorne (Indian Hawthorne)
Camellia Liriope Azaleas Liriope Azaleas Liriope Azaleas Liriope Azaleas Lirio
Gardenia Hydrangea Japanese Maples Ferns
Dwarf Mondo Grass is used as a ground cover.
The Zen Garden Principles of Kohei
Of course, Kohei Owatari is a master of his art, with a one-of-a-kind and inspired style that cannot be imitated. He did, however, share with us a few of the guiding principles that have led to his success and aesthetic sense.
Here are some of his insider tips for creating a stunning garden that stands out from the crowd.
Often use moving water.
Make way for water to flow freely in your Garden. This will bring your room to life and go a long way toward building the calming environment you’ve imagined.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever
Use other gardens as a source of inspiration, but eventually let your mind establish your Zen Garden paradise.
Take inspiration from the natural world.
Your Garden is distinctive. Your neighborhood or company is distinct. As you build, allow your surroundings to inspire and direct you.
Include a surprise element.
Use unusual angles and experiment with the unexpected. One of Kohei’s sketches included a shattered boulder. Instead of discarding it, he filled it with moss and turned it into a modern, engaging focal point for the Garden. He also tries out different combinations of materials and stone forms.
Consider the practical requirements.
Your Garden is for you. Combine the Japanese Zen style with your backyard aspirations. The Garden of the Year project, for example, included a large entertainment area, a leaf-shaped patio with a fire pit, a barbeque area, a cafe, and stepping stones and paths to make it easier to navigate.
Keep in mind that “every garden is a work of art.”
Make informed decisions about every aspect of your garden design. Your effort will be rewarded if you pay attention to the information.
“Every garden is a work of art.”
KOHEI OWATARI KOHEI OWATARI KOHEI OWATARI KOHE
How to Build Your Own Zen Garden in California – 7 Steps to Creating Peace in Your Backyard
Here are seven steps to follow when building a Zen Garden in your backyard, based on Kohei’s advice. If you’re on a budget, we’ve also included our recommendations for the splurge and where to save.
Choose a water feature.
Spend extravagantly! This is the focal point of your design, so if you’re going to spend money on something, make it the water feature! Consider Kohei’s advice and choose something that will last in the dry climate of Southern California. Some of Kohei’s most talked-about garden features are hand-chiseled natural stone fountains. You may also imagine a waterfall and pond if you have a wide area to the landscape.
Make a design plan.
Sketch your Garden’s layout. You can now schedule other elements around the water feature you’ve selected. Be sure to have pathways to link all of your components, and mark out where your boulders will be with spray paint.
Prepare the surroundings.
Remove any litter or landscaping that you don’t like. You must start with a blank canvas, or your Garden will be a work of art!
Boulders should be chosen and placed.
Spend a little more and save a little more! You may want to choose at least one central boulder that you adore, and it may be worthwhile to spend a little more money on it. Other boulders can be smaller and less expensive if desired. Consider them islands in your garden-ocean, with high and low-profile boulders arranged in groups of three or five. The first step in your project is to position boulders. Make sure you’re sure where you want them – it’s a lot more challenging to move them later! More information on boulder placement can be found in this blog post.
Pathways will help you connect.
Save money! Cover walking paths and any more expansive areas with crushed rock (also known as gravel). Add stepping stones to the top if necessary. In places where the rock will not be stepped on, arrange it with a rake. This is your chance to generate a ripple effect that evokes the sensation of being by the sea.
Stone Borders add a touch of class.
Spend a bit more. Stone boundaries, either along the side of the house or along paths, are a Japanese tradition. Since you need a small accent content, go for a polished pebble or rounded cobble, such as Mexican Beach Pebble.
Choose your plants.
Save money! More decorative rock in your garden means you’ll need fewer plants to fill the space (and you’ll save money on upkeep in the future!). Choose a few favorites to invest in, and follow Kohei’s advice above to ensure your plants grow in a drier setting.
Insider Advice on Natural Stone Selections from Kohei
It’s possible you’ve heard that Japanese Zen Gardens use a lot of natural stone. We asked Kohei to serve as our guide to his favorite stone choices to assist those of you who are new to the world of landscape rock. Here are some of his favorite brands, as well as what he looks for at landscape rock yards like Southwest Boulder & Stone.
Kohei prefers boulders that are muted in tone, such as beige, green, or blue. Lighter boulders are avoided in his Zen Gardens in Southern California because they imitate sunlight and become too vivid to enjoy. To better depict the mountains they portray in Japanese landscaping, and he prefers angular boulders over round ones.
“Take flat top boulders, bury them 80 percent in the dirt, and use them as stepping stones to create meandering steps,” Kohei suggests. Boulders 2-3 feet in diameter would be buried 18-20 inches deep in the earth. The result is a somewhat organic course, another example of traditional and contemporary blending.”
In his Valley Center studio, Kohei is one of the few landscape designers who cuts and chisels boulders by hand. All of his water basins and features are made by hand. When it comes to boulders, he is particular, noting that different locations, buildings, and placements would necessitate different boulder types. It’s essential to match the current landscaping. When it comes to selecting boulders for water features or any garden style, he has some sound advice:
“Always choose boulders by hand because each one is a work of art – it’s worth visiting Southwest Boulder & Stone to have 10,000 boulders to choose from. Every time I choose a boulder, I need a specific variety, color, and texture, so having a large selection is essential.”
– KOHEI OWATARI Flagstone pathway in a zen garden in Southern California
In a zen garden, a rock slab pathway with white sand
Crushed Stone (Gravel)
Pebble Pewter Gray Mexican Beach Crushed Stone
Copper Canyon is a canyon in the United States that Pavers and Flagstones Made of Crushed Rock.
Platinum Gold Flagstone is Kohei’s favorite.
Gray and beige are both favorites.
Here’s a picture of Platinum Gold flagstone in action. In one of his Japanese Garden design designs, Kohei covered an accent wall in the front yard. Another example of mixing form and function is the beautiful stone privacy screen that also serves as the backdrop for this project’s house numbers.
We asked him about his usual design process because some may be considering hiring him for your project. Kohei does provide consultations, which are ideal for those looking to put their years of experience to use on their backyard renovations. On the other hand, most of his clients employ him to design and install their Zen Garden, which is his favorite method of working.
According to Kohei, being interested in a project regularly contributes to higher levels of creativity as the project progresses. Many of his most notable garden features are the product of an unforeseen event during the project. His brilliance shines through in the smallest specifics of a project.
To learn more about Kohei’s work, go to his website, Modern Zen Garden. You should schedule an appointment with him if you live in the San Diego, Los Angeles, or Orange County areas.
source : https://www.southwestboulder.com/blog/create-a-japanese-zen-garden