Garden Photo of the Day

Japanese Inspired Garden

By Alexandra Dittrich

Stan Hobbs has attempted to create a relaxing woodland dwelling place—mission accomplished!

"There is an elegant house/garden in Hakone, Japan with the beautiful name “flower, mist dwelling place”. We have attempted to incorporate these qualities in a small woodland stroll garden using both native and non-native plants. The result is a restful retreat with many Japanese features and a strong Japanese aesthetic. The palette is restrained with an emphasis on form and texture rather than color. Stones, moss, and a variety of ground covers form a background for flowering shrubs including azaleas, rhododendrons, and early-blooming bleeding hearts and bellworts. Ferns, hosts, ginger, and shade-tolerant grasses introduce various shades of green. Several species of Japanese maples add structural interest. Stone lanterns, a small koi pond, and tsukubai reinforce the Japanese theme. The principle garden is planted beneath a stand of red oaks whose mass and age add a sense of permanence and shelter to the space. The varied scents of fragrant viburnums, clethera and oriental lilies permeate the garden as they come into bloom throughout the summer."

Included are several representative photographs of the garden in mid July. The garden is located in Glenville, NY 12302.

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 08/02/2016

    Hi there Stan - A great effort achieving your vision and creating a peaceful woodland garden with a distinctive Japanese influence. The use of foliage colour and texture is outstanding. Thanks for sharing.

  2. user-7007498 08/02/2016

    Stan: you have created a garden pleasing to the eye and restful to the mind. Great job. After a hard day's work, this is the place to go to reduce stress and invigorate the soul. Love the simplicity of color, but complexity in texture. Thanks for sharing this beautiful garden.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 08/02/2016

      We missed you yesterday Kev. Were you 'way out to billy-o' (translation - a long way away - from a computer or iPhone)?

      1. user-7007498 08/02/2016

        Thanks, Frank, for noticing. You made it easy-I didn't have to look this one up.

        I had taken a 7 hour trip to Buffalo, New York for the weekend and was traveling back yesterday (very poor internet connection). I attended Garden Walk Buffalo, which is a free event sponsored by the city annually to promote the city, and encourage residents to garden their small city plots. This year 406 homeowners participated. Some of the gardens were very modest, and others were spectacular. Some allowed you to see their front garden only, but many allowed you to see their side (more like an alley) and back gardens.

        I was able to get to 132 gardens over the 2 day event (my Fit-Bit registered 28.5 miles walking). The event provides a detailed map, with a little description of each garden, including style, use of natives, water features, and whether they are new to the event.

        I had a great time spending a few minutes talking with many of the gardeners.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 08/02/2016

          Gee mate, 132 gardens and 28.5 miles - you must have been flat out like a lizard drinking! Cheers

  3. user-4691082 08/02/2016

    Rarely do I see a garden that I wish was mine...sigh...outstanding.

  4. VikkiVA 08/02/2016

    Oh my goodness Stan, this is stunning! How serene it looks. Hakone grass is my most loved ornamental grass and it certainly adds a glorious splash of color to your landscape. Thank you for sharing your breath taking paradise. Vikki in VA

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 08/02/2016

    Stan: What a beautiful, serene place. I like that you have used the Japanese garden as a model, but made it your very own. I wish I could sit and spend an hour in it.

  6. sharongoetchius 08/02/2016

    What an amazing garden! It absolutely takes my breath away! Thank you so much for sharing it?

  7. sharongoetchius 08/02/2016

    Hi, your pictures so much that I actually just looked up your location it turns out looks like you live pretty close to my daughter, who's in Saratoga....if you'd ever like someone to come by and ooh and aw over your property..I would love to do that! Just give me the word?

  8. NCYarden 08/02/2016

    This is an amazing woodland retreat you've created among the old giants. Very nice attention to detail. Great plant selection, and excellent restraint (don't know how you stop yourself). The moss and stones are classic. Would love to stroll and stroll....and stroll some more. Beautiful, and well done. Thanks for sharing.

  9. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/02/2016

    Stan, your Japanese inspired garden is visually stunning and you have exercised masterful restraint in not overplanting. Each plant or hardscape element has a chance to tell its story in full in a quiet dignified "voice" shouting necessary. You have certainly made perfect use of an area blessed with those tall magnificently mature oak trees. I love the inclusion of the quiet velvety moss as groundcover. It's all so very, very lovely.

  10. NWAgardener 08/02/2016

    Stan - what a splendid haven you have created! You certainly have mastered the art of form and texture with wonderful plant combinations. The bleeding heart, Japanese forest grass and some hostas add a delightful punch of chartreuse. I'm impressed by the size of your clumps of brunnera (what variety is it?) and Japanese painted ferns. What is the variety of the dark shiny-leafed ginger just in front of the hosta in the last picture? With such a restful retreat, do you have a place to sit and enjoy your masterpiece? Thanks for making my day!

  11. sumhillgardener 08/02/2016

    Absolutely stunning. It is wonderful that gardens can be so different, mine is more like an English border garden --- and yet there is such elegance in the texture, mosses, boulders, water features and restraint in plantings of your garden that I am blown away. How very peaceful. Thank you for sharing with us !

  12. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/02/2016

    Amazing job. Very tranquil. I'm so unbearably envious of your stone lantern and basins. Beautiful. I don't think I have the restraint you exercised to create your relaxing work of art, so my hat's off to you!

  13. sheila_schultz 08/02/2016

    Beautifully designed, Stan. Your garden gently whispers peace .

  14. pegmccann 08/02/2016

    Wow! How do you encourage your moss? Do you need to carefully remove fallen leaves? I've read of adding an absorbent soil conditioner to help with even moisture. Thank you for sharing the views.

  15. schatzi 08/02/2016

    Stan, you have succeeded spectacularly in creating your peaceful and beautiful Japanese style garden. The colors and textures are gorgeous and with the old oaks, it looks like it has been there forever. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

  16. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/02/2016

    Stan, what a masterpiece you've created. The word that I keep seeing in the comments is restraint and I would have to concur. My husband and I tried to make our courtyard into a Japanese garden but our plant lust got away from us. This is such a beautiful serene setting. Thanks for sharing.Linda on Whidbey

  17. eddireid 08/03/2016

    There is nothing else to say but Thank you!

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