Japanese gardening is an art form that portrays the delicate balance between the elements and nature. This type of gardening reflects inner peace and encourages a meditative state of mind. The Japanese plant their vegetable gardens in their backyards and harvest the plants to feed their families. These gardens have a moderate appearance with decorative rocks, gravel, cobble stones, sand, small bamboo fences and water.
Japanese vegetable gardens often use smooth rocks to wind a meandering path throughout the garden representing a wandering river. Water is incorporated into the garden usually in the form of a pond that splits the garden into two parts, with a small wooden bridge connecting the two halves. Bamboo fences boarder vegetable plots adding a natural look to the garden. Rocks are also used to create a frame for the garden plots, showcasing the connection of unforgiving elements and fragile nature.
Vegetable are the main staples in a Japanese diet, and vegetables are added to almost any dish. Common Japanese vegetables include cabbage, which is usually thinly sliced and complements fried dishes. Negi (leeks) are used as a topping or integrated into boiled or fried dishes. Komatuna (Japanese mustard spinach) is served pickled, placed in salads and boiled in soups or stews. Mizuna (Japanese mustard greens) is found in salads or soups. Shiso (perilla leaf) is an herb similar to Mint used to flavor soups and stews. Shishito (small Japanese green pepper) is roasted and topped with soy sauce or used in tempura. Daikon (large white radish) is a salad ingredient and it can be a topping for fish dishes.
Japanese vegetable gardens use square plots to contain the plants and surround them with elements like rocks or bamboo fences. Use seaweed as an organic garden fertilizer to help circulate air. Part of the garden should be in a shaded spot that can drain well, and other parts in full sun. Vegetable planting depends on the needs of each specific plant. To add dimension to the garden, place some vegetables in various sized containers.