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Japanese Patio Design



Japanese patio design is becoming very popular. The grace and serenity of Japanese gardens have fulfilled a need in the busy lives of people everywhere. They need a place to relax and forget about all the demands their lives put upon them.

A Japanese patio can give you this quiet retreat at home. Merely by incorporating a few design elements of the Japanese garden, your patio can feel like a peaceful corner that is all your own.

Main Elements of a Japanese Patio

First of all, you want to incorporate space in your patio area. Don't fill it to the brim with furniture, decorative items and plants. You want open space. This is not to say that this open space is devoid of decorationÂ… this is where your patio material comes into its own. Natural stone works wonderfully in a Japanese patio design. The natural edges and color variations mirror the natural world, which is an important part of Japanese gardens.

If natural stone is not in your budget, you can achieve visual interest in your open space with pavers, aggregate or a combination of materials.

Another element to bring into your Japanese patio design is a border. This can easily be achieved by using bamboo panels to border one or more sides of your patio. Bamboo gives an Asian feel wherever it is used, and the panels come in many different designs. Alternatively, you could build a wall that looks like one side of a Japanese tea house.

Plants for your Japanese Patio

Next, you want to incorporate some plants. If you can take a portion of the patio to make into a garden area, you can incorporate traditional Japanese elements like plants, rocks and even water feature in one focal area. Alternatively, you can place plants that are traditionally in Japanese gardens into pots.

An attractive bamboo in a beautiful glazed pot can do a lot for your Japanese patio. Don't forget to include a bonsai tree! If you do have room to make a planting area, it can become a full blown Japanese garden in miniature. Bamboo, Japanese maple, dwarf conifers, ferns, mosses and other small creeping plants can be incorporated.

Adding Stone and Water

It is common in a Japanese garden to include a focal stone or two. These large stones add texture and vertical interest to the garden area. If this portion of your Japanese patio design is large enough, you can add a small stream or waterfall to harmonize the garden with the sounds of trickling water. As an alternative, dry stream beds made of river stone or pebbles are often used in Japanese gardens. This creates a difference in form, color and texture.

Other elements that can be placed in your garden area instead may include a traditional Japanese stone lantern or a small water basin. These stone basins are a traditional element in many Japanese gardens and they come in many styles, sizes and prices. The basins all have a common feature: water trickles into them from a bamboo spout.

A pair of bamboo twigs are laid across the basin, upon which a bamboo ladle rests. The purpose behind them was to offer the visitor a place to refresh themselves by washing up or taking a sip.

Japanese Furnishings

Your Japanese patio design is not finished without furnishings. There are a couple different ways you can address this issue. If you are going for a garden look, you may want to use a traditional garden bench of stone or wood.

If you want more of an indoor feel, perhaps you'd like a low table and cushions to imitate the furnishings found in a traditional teahouse. If your patio is sheltered, you may also want to include a tatami mat on the floor.

If your planting area is small or you decide to put all your plants in pots, bonsai and other small plants can be placed carefully in groupings or on stone pedestals in a corner or two to soften the shape of the patio.


Before you know it, your patio will be done! You will have your own little corner of serenity available as a place to unwind after a long day with a cup of green tea or a bowl of miso soup.





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