Sometimes, Asian-themed landscaping provides a tranquility and calm that western landscaping does not often match. Other times, with its characteristic bright red hues, Asian landscaping can provide a touch of the exotic. From bamboo plants and ornaments to raked stone gardens, there are plenty of ways to incorporate an Asian feel into a garden at a variety of price points.
Bamboo adds an instant Asian feel to an otherwise western garden or landscape. Bamboo grows quickly and can serve as a border, windscreen and barrier. Because it grows so quickly, it requires some maintenance to make sure that it doesn't spread too much and get out of control. Container bamboo can alleviate this concern somewhat as the bamboo plant will be restricted to the container.
Live bamboo isn't the only way to add bamboo to a landscape. Bamboo ornaments and structures lend a similar eastern feel. Bamboo wind chimes add sound to a landscape aside from the birds, as does a bamboo fountain. Try lawn furniture made from bamboo, such as chairs and tables.
The Japanese torii is the traditional red arch seen at the entrance of many Shinto temples and Japanese gardens. According to Waymarking.com, the torii symbolizes the passing between the everyday world and the spiritual realm. Adding a torii to a landscape creates a striking eastern look.
Raked Rock Garden
A raked rock garden adds a meditative feel to a landscape. The raked patterns are supposed to represent the water and its waves, according to Lexaloffle.com. The raked rocks are traditionally placed in a rectangular frame. Use small pebbles of various sizes to create this Asian-inspired element. If you obtain the stones from the scraps of a quarry local to your area, you are likely to save money, as opposed to obtaining the stones from a garden supply store or a home improvement store.
In keeping with eastern garden design principles, go for a naturalistic water element, as opposed to something too formally shaped, like a square pond. Add koi to ponds to add more color and movement to the pond to a landscape. A bright red, arched foot bridge can continue the Asian theme while providing additional function to the landscape, or choose a low bridge that zig-zags over the water. These zig-zag bridges are shaped in such an unusual way to ward off bad spirits, who, according to traditional Chinese beliefs, only travel in a straight line and are thus confounded by the bridge's angles.