One of the most popular styles of Japanese gardening is apartment gardening in small spaces. It has been practiced for several centuries, long before space as a factor in Japanese living standards was even a consideration. In modern times apartment gardening in small spaces has become a popular alternative to traditional two or three-storey homes in Japan. Most apartment dwellers know how difficult it can be to find the right combination of garden space, houseplants, lighting, furniture, heating and cooling, storage, parking, water and sewer, and the variety of local land and building codes.
Most of us have lived in small spaces all our lives. Many of us have dreamed of retiring to a little island on a tropical beach somewhere, far away from it all, where we could plant a garden and spend the rest of our days on it, sipping coconut tea and enjoying the peace and quiet. Many of us have tried that, or at least have some vague idea of what it would be like to retire to a tropical paradise. We know there is a certain satisfaction in being able to say that you worked hard and you didn’t let life get you down. And there is a certain thrill in knowing that you have created a personal sanctuary where you can escape and forget the troubles of the world for a while. Japanese gardening in small spaces offers us these advantages and few competitors.
Most of us already have a basic idea of what apartment gardening in small spaces is like. We have walls and floors to install vegetables on, we have raised beds and containers, we have a fairly limited amount of natural light, we have a limited amount of soil, we have a limited amount of water, and we usually have a fairly limited selection of plants. We usually end up with something very basic, but it does help to start with a plan. Here are a few simple rules to follow in apartment gardening in small spaces.
When you decide on how much space you have to work with, you will need to consider the layout of your apartment, as well as how much personal space you have. For instance, if you are living in a one-bedroom apartment, which is the typical size of Japanese apartment space, you should limit the amount of floor space to a minimum. Since most apartment gardens consist of multiple small spaces, one long wall with a few windows, you can take advantage of natural light and utilize the sun’s heat to keep the plants healthy. If you have enough space, consider a skylight – it can make your space feel much more spacious and open.
You don’t want to crowd the area too much, or you’ll end up having a difficult time getting around when you’re gardening in small spaces. Remember that Japanese gardens are typically small and compact, so planning where you place different things is essential. Placing a water feature, or a container garden out in the open is fine, but if you’re going to use soil, containers, or a raised bed, make sure you know where to put them.
Another thing to remember is that Japanese gardening techniques require plenty of variety and creativity. For example, if you have limited space but you want to grow a variety of plants, consider growing them in upside down pots. Since they are upside down, they won’t touch each other, but you can move them around easily from one place to another. Just be sure to keep them in a small space if you do this.
The Japanese also like to use rocks, wood and paper materials in their gardens. Of course, they would rather use soil, but it is still a good idea to incorporate natural materials. Also, keep in mind that most Japanese gardens tend to be fairly small. You should try to keep your garden fairly even, as to avoid making the garden seem crowded. One thing to consider is using several types of rocks in the spaces between your plants.
Lastly, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. The key is to be creative. After all, gardening has been done by the Japanese for hundreds of years, so why shouldn’t it be done in your own home? When used correctly, Japanese gardening techniques will not only add beauty to your home, but will also help you relax and take some time to enjoy your life.