Japanese Rock Garden Plants

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Rock gardens existed in Japan at least since the Heian period (794–1185). These early gardens were described in the first manual of Japanese gardens, Sakuteiki (Records of Garden Keeping), written at the end of the 11th century by Tachibana no Toshitsuna (1028–1094). They were largely copied from the Chinese gardens of the Song Dynasty (960–1279), where groups of rocks symbolized Mount Penglai, the legendary mountain-island home of the Eight Immortals in Chinese mythology, known in Japanese as Horai. The Sakuteiki described exactly how rocks should be placed. In one passage, he wrote: "In a place where there is neither a lake or a stream, one can put in place what is called a kare-sansui, or dry landscape". This kind of garden featured either rocks placed upright like mountains, or laid out in a miniature landscape of hills and ravines, with few plants. He described several other styles of rock garden, which usually included a stream or pond, including the great river style, the mountain river style, and the marsh style. The ocean style featured rocks that appeared to have been eroded by waves, surrounded by a bank of white sand, like a beach.

A Japanese rock garden is an attractive, easy-to-maintain feature for just about any yard. Although rock gardens often take careful planning to set up, selecting the plants that will thrive in this type of garden can provide a low-maintenance garden area. There is an array of plants to choose from when planting your Japanese rock garden.

Serenity of the Japanese Rock Garden

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