A guide to making your own Japanese bonsai garden!

japanese bonsai garden

Hello & howdy.

So, we're here to help you create your very own Japanese bonsai garden!

If you have a bonsai collection, or plan on starting one, why let your backyard go to waste? It is very simple and easy to create your own magical space and one that is traditionally focused on bonsai viewing!

This may sound a little strange, but believe us when we tell you that a Japanese bonsai garden inspires anyone whom visits one, and promotes feelings of awe. Imagine having friends over, you're all sitting in the backyard surrounded by carefully placed bonsai. Your garden alone will be a talking point!

Ok, so have we established that you want your own japanese bonsai garden?


Let's start the fabled journey, but before we do, be sure to check out our Tree guides, our 'How To' Guides, and of course our Care Guides.

Lets look at grouping bonsai!

Grouping Your Bonsai

Grouping your bonsai will allow you to surpass the single tree image that you have worked so hard to achieve. You have the chance to go beyond this and create a landscape of your choice! Creating a landscape also allows you to mask the inconsistencies that your trees may have, say, if your maple has an asymmetrical left side - you can counterbalance this by placing another tree on it's left side view.

Here's what to look for in a bonsai group:

Trunk rhythm. Ensure your trunks complement each other in their movement and appearance. You want trunks to blend together to create an interesting pattern.

Symmetrical overall outline. Ensure the treeline and baseline (where the foliage meets the trunks) are thought out and interesting.

Avoid parallels. Ensure you keep formal upright trees apart. Having too many upright trees side by side creates a boring landscape.

Work within the confines of your space. Consider the size of the area you wish to use as your japanese bonsai garden. Remember, in bonsai symmetry is everything! Consider how big you want the gaps between trees to be and work with what you have!

Don't flood your retinas! If you have multiple subjects of a particular species be sure to space them apart. You don't want 2 Junipers resting beside each other. Instantly you will be able to tell which is better - this can weaken the overall appearance of your garden!

Your Japanese bonsai garden

• Think through your garden plans. Ensure that you have an idea of light distribution, shade, rain etc and place species according to their care needs. For example, if you place a species that requires a great deal of light in a part of the garden that is always shaded, this will result in your tree's death!

• Construct things like windbreaks and screens where you deem necessary.

• Carefully think through your overall background. In Japanese bonsai gardens you will often see a woody backdrop. You can construct a wooden fence behind the trees if need be.

• Carefully think through your pot choices. Ensure your pots are working together to create an overall image.

• Utilise Japanese ornaments if possible. Much like zen bonsai and zen gardens, the utilisation of grey gravel and green foliage can add depth and character to your collection.

• You can build your own benches to display bonsai, but make sure you purchase, or build singular pedestals to allow focus to fall on individual trees.

So...... hopefully by now we have got you thinking about some basic japanese bonsai garden ideas. all you have to do now is map out how you want your yard to look. Sketches help here. Much like planning the appearance of an individual tree, you can sketch out your yard and plan where to place your trees.

So what are you waiting for? Either rush out and stock up on bonsai, or grab your collection and start experimenting!

Leave our Japanese bonsai garden guide and head back to our How to Guide!