Plants and planting (Shokobutsu) in Tsubo-en

Plants in particular trees and shrubs, are important to give the Japanese garden its unique character. While the European garden is colorful and diverse with its trees, bushes and flowers the Japanese garden is predominately green with its almost exclusive use of evergreen trees and shrubs. When flowering shrubs are found in the Japanese garden they are usually camelias or rhododendron, specifically the tsubaki, sazanka and satsuki. Flowering can be abundant but mostly for a short period early in the year.

In Japan, replacing traditional plant species with new natives in a different geographic location is a long tradition. As your garden is not located in Japan you need to find plants that will survive in your climate zone but that reproduce the effects of Japanese garden plants.
For plant selection (planting = shokobutsu) there will never be a guarantee that you make the right choice. The first time you will definitely need a plant encyclopedia that is specific to your country or climate-zone. We used a well known Dutch standard-work for that [9]. Important factors are your climate-zone, specific location and placement characteristics like soil, exposure, rainfall, humidity, light levels and wind, in your garden. Our climate-zone or "USDA plant-hardiness-Zone" is 7 to 8 (see: B&T World Seeds for Europe and for USA, USDA/AHS).
Some examples of a selection of plants listed under the coldest zones in which they normally succeed can be found here: Peter's Garden Notes.

In [12] you find a recent book reference to "Niwaki", (niwa ki) clipped and pruned garden trees, a book that we should have had right from the beginning. Unfortunately at was not available at the time. Nonetheless, although late it is never too late for this kind of expert information. What we did use as a reference for trees is a book on bonsai [13]. Most trees, shapes and techniques on training and pruning that apply to bonsai can also be applied to full-size niwaki. During selection of trees it is important to know how they will grow and show and need to be handled.

Now we can add the plants and planting to the garden-plan to look like this:

1626


Planting has been subdivided into the following chapters:


Planting and Plant-groups in Tsubo-en
Click for an extensive coverage
Mosses and lichen Mosses & lichen Groundcovers Groundcovers Shrubs and topiary Shrubs, topiary
Deciduous trees Deciduous trees Coniferous trees Evergreen trees Ferns, bamboo, etc. Miscellaneous


Statement of caution: Keeping the gravel clean and having the raked patterns last as long as possible requires careful consideration. That means that we need to keep deciduous plants away from the Ginshanada. And not only those as eventually all shrubs and trees let go of their leaves. In some cases we will however not be able to do so or because of specific aesthetic properties we want to have we need to compromise this principle. As long as the consequences are well considered that is fine.
In Tsubo-en the Nothofagus antarctica in section "A/G" forms a canopy over a portion of the gravel. And so do the Pinus densiflora in section E and the Abies procera "Glauca" on the Turtle island (section "A"). The O-karikomi, section "D" is very close to being a canopy and needs special attention when getting clipped. The latter is even more true for the "the five Islands of immortality" that stand in the middle of their own small Ginshanada extension.

Niwaki (plants) examples

This section shows a selection of fine authentic examples that all originate from Japan. These examples show how design principles and rules are applied and interpreted and how and what materials are used in genuine Japanese gardens. These examples should be of help and inspiration during realization of your own Japanese garden.

Part of these photos is from our own trips others have been collected from different sources, including but not limited to the Internet. New examples will be frequently added.
Note: The examples will only display correctly after the page has fully loaded !
Niwaki (Japanese garden trees) [12] are subdivided in Evergreen trees, Deciduous trees, etc. In the examples section we do not make such distinction. This with the exception of some Shrubs and most Karikomi and hako-zukuri shrubs that have a dedicated examples chapter.
The temple's major garden is in the Karesansui style, and now designated as an eminent scenery. 
It contains a notable Pinus pentaphylla tree, now about 400 years old, set within an "island" on a stream of white sand. 
The inner garden is quite small, and features a stone basin and old well.   Adachi Museum of Art, located in Shimane Prefecture.  This landscape, including the trees, has an extraordinary scale.   The Byodo-in Kannon-do hall is an important cultural property.
In front in full flower Fujidana Wisteria floribunda and Rhododendron.   Chiran, Kyushu.
 The gardens of these samurai houses, in the town of Chiran in Satsuma province, were built during Edo times according to classical principles.   A Daitoku-ji path lined with Maple Trees, moss, and temple walls.   Splints, suports and guy ropes training a Pinus. Daitoku-ji, Kyoto.   A tortured pine tree which appears to have been lovingly tended to by expert arborists on the Daitokuji Temple grounds.   A variety of planting in Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), Kyoto.   Evergreens and deciduous trees in Hiroitibann, Kyoto.   Katyuuan takeutiseihou kinenkan, Takeuchi Hermitage Museum "Temple in the Mist", Kyoto.   This garden, Himeji Koko-en, was constructed in 1992 to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the establisment of Himeji municipality.
It is located just west of Himeji Castle.   This shows a classical mix of shrubs and trees to form a landscape. Konchi-in (Kyoto) Temple Garden is said to have been laid out by master gardener Kobori Enshu (1579-1647).   Koto-in Roji (tea-garden), sub-temple of Daitoku-ji, Kyoto.   Koto-in, yet an other view in the green Roji.   Ryoan-ji Kyoto from a different corner. A grove of Daisugi style trees with blooming prunus in the foreground.   Alternative plants in Ryogen-in, Kyoto.   A mix of evergreens and deciduous trees in the backdrop of the famous moss tsukiyama in Tofuku-ji, Kyoto.   Pruning in action at Zojo-ji in Tokyo.   A boot shaped Niwaki in Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto.   The temple Manshu-in in Kyoto   Komyo-ji in Kyoto   To-ji in Kyoto   Tofuku-ji in Kyoto   To-ji in Kyoto   Chiran in Kyushu   Kumamoto in Kyushu   Obi in Kyushu   Obi in Kyushu



Index of plants in Tsubo-en

The table below contains a complete index of all plants used in Tsubo-en. In the related chapters you will find hyperlinks into databases, Wikipedia etc. where you find general and specific information on plants. The right most column "Tsubo-en Subdivision" is a hyperlink to the relevant chapter.

In addition some of the best sites with plant information are listed in the IV - Sites with plant information section of the Links page.

"Latin" name Common name Family or class Tsubo-en Subdivision
karesansui.nl page
Abies Koreana "Tundra" ("Little Gem") Fir
Dutch: Koreaanse den
Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Abies fraseri Fir Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Abies procera "Glauca" Noble Fir
Dutch: Zilverspar
Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Acaena magellanica Dutch: Stekelnootje Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Acer palmatum "Bloodgood" (Iroha)Momiji
Japanese maple
Dutch: Japanse esdoorn
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Acer palmatum disectum garnet (Iroha)Momiji
Japanese maple
Dutch: Japanse esdoorn
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Acer platanoides "Royal Red" Norway Maple
Dutch: Noorse Esdoorn
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Acer pseudoplatanus "Brilliantissimuni" Maple
Dutch: Esdoorn
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Armeria Maritima Dutch: Engels gras Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Anthemis nobilis
See: Chamaemelum nobile
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Asplenium scolopendrium Hart's-tongue Fern
Dutch: Tongvaren
Fern Miscellaneous plants
Asplenum trichomanes Maidenhair Spleenwort fern
Dutch: Steenbreekvaren
Fern Miscellaneous plants
Azalea Japonica "Stewardstonia" Rengetsutsuji
Dutch: Japanse azalea
"Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Buxus sempervirens Box, boxwood
Dutch: Buxboom, palboom
Evergreen shrub Shrubs
Karikomi and hako-zukuri
Caloplaca flavescens (Hudson) J.R. Laundon Dutch: Gelobde citroenkorst Lichen Mosses and lichen
Castanea Chestnut
Dutch: Kastanje
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Bonsai
Chamaecyparis Lawsonia "white spot" Dutch: Californische cipres Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Chamaemelum nobile "treneaguei" Roman Camomile, Chamomile
Garden camomile
Ground apple
Low chamomile
English chamomile

whig plant
Dutch: Loopkamille
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Cotoneaster "Coral beauty" Dutch: Dwergmispel Evergreen shrub Shrubs
Cotoneaster "dammeri" Evergreen shrub Groundcovers
Cotula minor Dutch: Speldekussen Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Cotula potentillina "Water buttons" or "Buttonweeds"
Dutch: Goudknopje, Vedermos
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Cryptomeria Japonica "elegans" Sugi Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Dryopteris atrata Fern Miscellaneous plants
Euonymus Japonicus "Compactus" Mayumi
Dutch: Kardinaalsmuts
Evergreen shrub Shrubs
Karikomi and hako-zukuri
Fissidens bryoides Dutch: Gezoomd vedermos Moss Mosses and lichen
Bonsai
Fissidens taxifolius Hedw. Dutch: Kleivedermos Moss Mosses and lichen
Bonsai
Hosta Sieboldiana Other Miscellaneous plants
Iris "White Knight" Dutch: Hoge bardiris Other Miscellaneous plants
Juniperus horizontalis "glauca" Dutch: Jeneverbes Evergreen coniferous shrub Shrubs
Juniperus media "blue" Dutch: Jeneverbes Evergreen coniferous shrub Shrubs
Larix (Europeaus) decidua European Larch
Dutch: Lork
Deciduous coniferous tree Deciduous trees
Laurus nobilis Bay Laurel
Dutch: Laurier
Evergreen shrub Shrubs
Leptinella minor
See: Cotula
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Leptinella potentillina
See: Cotula
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Nothofagus antarctica Dutch: Schijnbeuk Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Opiopogon Japonicus "minor" "Nana" Tama-ryu
Dwarf snake’s beard
Dutch: Slangebaard
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Pinus densiflora Japanese Red Pine
"Aka-matsu"
Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Pinus leucodermis "Satellit" Dutch: Den Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Pinus mugo mugo Coniferous tree Evergreen trees
Pleioblastus pygmaeus Bamboo Miscellaneous plants
Prunus laurocerasus "Otto Luyken" Dutch: Laurierkers Evergreen shrub Shrubs
Prunus lusitanica Evergreen tree Evergreen trees
Quercus robur Oak
Dutch: Eik
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Bonsai
Rhododendron Japonicum
See Azalea
Rengetsutsuji
Dutch: Japanse azalea
"Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Rhododendron (Repens) "Baden Baden" Dwarf Rhododendron
Dutch: Dwergrhododendron
"Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Rhododendron (Repens) "Morgenroot" Dwarf Rhododendron
Dutch: Dwergrhododendron
"Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Rhododendron (Repens) "Scarlet wonder" Dwarf Rhododendron
Dutch: Dwergrhododendron
"Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Sasaella asamuneana Bamboo Miscellaneous plants
Skimmia Japonica "Rubella" "Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Skimmia Japonica "Foremanii" "Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Skimmia reevesiana "Evergreen" shrub Shrubs
Taxus baccata Yew
Dutch: Venijnboom
Coniferous tree
Hedgerow
Miscellaneous plants
Bonsai
Taxus media "hillii" Yew
Dutch: Amerikaanse venijnboom
Evergreen tree Evergreen trees
Thuja occidentalis "Braband" Coniferous tree
Hedgerow
Miscellaneous plants
Thymus Praecox "minor" Thyme
Dutch: Tijm
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Thymus Praecox pseudo langinosus Thyme
Dutch: Tijm
Perennial groundcover Groundcovers
Ulmus parvifolia "seijn" Elm
Dutch: Dwerg Iep
Deciduous or
broadleaf tree
Deciduous trees
Vitis Vitis vroege van der Laan Other Miscellaneous plants
Wisteria sinensis Fuji
Chinese Wisteria

Dutch: Blauwe regen
Deciduous, perennial climbing vine.
Here trained as a tree.
Deciduous trees

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