It all started with a family holiday in Japan. The client came back enchanted by the Kyoto gardens and landscapes, and asked us to transform their unimpressive garden into a Japanese oasis. Japanese gardens possess a unique blend of elements that have their distinct significance and represent an idealized view of nature. We ripped out the existing lawn and tired plants. We changed the topography from flat to undulating contours, mimicking hills and a mountain. We then introduced a selection of very carefully chosen rocks, trees, shrubs and ground-cover moss to provide an aesthetic balance and a naturally serene vision throughout the year.
The upper terrace highlights the magnificent 70 years old, bonsai shaped Pinus Pentaphylla - a focus point in all seasons - as well as the 3 "Pagoda trees", Juniperus Chinensis 'Kaizuka'. The 4m tall multi-stemmed Camellia Japonica 'Koron Koku' produces unusual dark red flowers in the early spring. They are followed by the pink and coral flowers of cushion shaped Azalea Japonica 'Dorothy Hayden' and 'Johanna'.
Climbers such as Wisteria Japonica and Trachelospermum Jasmonoides produce scented buds in early summer and, in the autumn, the scarlet leaves of the compact Acer Palmatum provide a vivid contrast against the evergreen Camellia. A full sized Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis Rosea flowers from November to February, colouring the dark winter. Soleirolia Soleirolii is a moss-like fresh green ground cover, planted on both terraces, bringing the peaceful oriental theme right to the doors of the house. The stepping-stones and rocks were selected individually for their aged smoothness, unusual veins and shapes. A discreet and efficient lighting scheme illuminates this new garden at night.