Last month, I bought the perfect gift: a new book out from Phaidon called The Japanese Garden for my Japanese garden enthusiast husband. The cover is an automatic candidate for Instagram, but its contents—“an exploration spanning 800 years of the art, essence, and enduring impact of the Japanese garden”—are most superlative.
Author Sophie Walker walks the reader through the elements (including reflective surfaces and sculpture) and design (courtyards, Zen principles, dry gardens) of Japanese gardens. Dispersed through different visual spreads are new essays from architects Tadao Andō and John Pawson, and artists such as Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor. And particularly useful for planting purposes is an appendix on the trees and shrubs, perennials and herbaceous plants, and ferns and mosses of Japan. Here’s a look inside.
N.B: If you’re inspired to design your own Japanese-style garden (or even a desktop version of a Zen garden), see:
- 10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Japan.
- Japanese Maple Trees 101: A Field Guide, Planting, Care & Design.
- DIY: A Desktop Zen Garden.
- 10 Easy Pieces: Japanese-Style Fences and Screens.
- Yew Trees 101: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design.
- For more garden design books, see our post The 10 Books Every Gardener Should Read.