Project Details

Photos: Jesse Edsell-Vetter

Japanese Garden

Design:   Steven Hansen

A client in Jamaica Plain contacted our designer Steven Hansen looking to mimic a Japanese garden. They were particularly inspired by the linear walkways prevalent in Japanese gardens, and sought to eliminate grass and install a custom patio. For the walkways we used reclaimed granite from the Franconia Notch highway, which the client loved.

The property was very shady, which can present a challenge for planting installations. Steve carefully selected shade-tolerant plants including sweet woodruff, Japanese forest grass, and clumping bamboo to surround the walkways. We also reused some plant materials that were already growing in the client’s yard. By relocating these plants we not only brought more aesthetic unity to the garden, but also found sunnier locations for those that needed it . Replacing grass with groundcover, perennials, and shrubs was a great way to transform the lawn into a low-maintenance garden, reducing the need for regular watering and, of course, mowing.

Midway through the project, we incorporated a few special accents, including boulders the client had delivered from Vermont, as well as the client’s 8-foot-long old soapstone sink, which we converted into a garden planter.

Our crews then installed an irregular bluestone patio to compliment the client’s new Japanese-style garden. The client chose this style patio in particular for its informal look and for the range of colors present in the stone.