Looking up the hill, our stroller sees the top curve in the S-shaped path. The sides of the path are framed by basalt boulders and filled in with ground covers and specimen evergreen shrubs. Over time, all the spaces between the rocks will be filled with interesting vegetation. The back side of the hill is planted with various evergreen shrubs and trees. These will also fill in over time creating a border for the Japanese garden.
The stroller pauses and questions, “What is around the corner?”
“Tobiosho Japanese Maple & Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Japanese maples and evergreen conifers line the hillside on the northwestern side of the path. Our visitor stops and examines the various textures and shades of green on the hillside vegetation. During the spring, the light chartreuse of the Tobiosho maple and the bright pink of the creeping phlox add a bit of brilliance to this scene. In the winter, the Chief Joseph pine turns to a brilliant yellow. Red twig dogwoods in the background loose their leaves and add a flash of red to the scene.
The stroller takes a few more steps up the hill and glances toward the sound of flowing water. A small window opens up to present a glimpse of the waterfall and pond.
“Window to the Pond” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
The east side of path is lined with various evergreen trees and shrubs which shield the view of what is beyond to the stroller on the path. Several small windows allow the stroller to peek through to see vignettes of the garden and stream. This window is a “works in progress.” Our design plan is to have low-growing evergreens and and other creeping shrubs create a bed of shades of green and various textures leading to the pond.
“Up the Hill to the Upper Garden” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Our visitor walks back through the lower part of the Japanese garden returning to the small Japanese lantern marking the entry wye. Japanese maples, full maples, and a variety of conifer trees and shrubs entice the walker to start up the path to the upper garden. What new surprises are to be found?
At the top of the stepping stone path a large rock bridges over the stream. Our stroller, with a little wobbly knees, looks down over the stream below. They think, ” Just a few minutes ago, I was down below sitting in one of the Adirondack chairs enjoying the rushing waterfalls above me. It is a whole different perspective from up here.”
They turn back to the stepping path and start their stroll back down to the lower part of the garden.
“Bridge Stone and Stepping Stone Path” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
“NE Corner – Work In Progress” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
After our visitor finished enjoying the vignette of the waterfall and Yukimi, they turn back up the hill and continue their stroll upward. A stepping stone path appears on their left. Where does it lead?
A Japanese lantern appears at the end of the path. It beckons our stroller to climb up to the top.
This hillside part of the Heatherwood Japanese garden is a “works in progress.” This spring we added the stepping stone path, several trees and shrubs, and started planting ground covers. Our vision is that this will be a natural border for the Japanese garden, fully covered with trees, shrubs, and vegetation. As the trees get bigger and provide shade, we plan to add shade-loving azaleas and rhododendrons.
“Yukimi Lantern and Waterfall” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. I guess it is time to continue the stroll through the garden.
After exiting the garden path, the visitor walks around a couple of trees and starts to walk up the lawn bordering the Japanese garden. The sound of the rushing waterfall catches his/her attention and they look over their left shoulder and catch this small vignette. As we developed the Japanese garden, we tried to create small windows of interest from various view points. This is one of my favorites.
After a while sitting by the pond and waterfall, our visitor decides to continue their stroll through the garden. He/she looks around and notices this little path headed off to the East. “I wonder where this will lead, I’ll take it.”
Our visitor leans back in the Adirondack chair, his/her head turns from left to right wandering up over the landscape. There is so much to see. But soon the attention focuses on the main waterfall and the Kotoji lantern guarding the stream. The rushing water and roaring sound hold the viewer’s attention. The Japanese maples and surrounding evergreens frame in the waterfall and pond.
Our visitor notices another Adirondack chair up above at the top of the stream. Curiosity arises, “How do I get up there?”
“The Waterfall & Pond” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Catching a glimpse of the waterfall and hearing the sound increase our visitor picks up the pace around the curving path. The garden opens up and presents its star attraction. It is time for the stroller to catch his/her breathe and sit down in one of the Adirondack chairs to just relax and take in the scene.
This is one of the views we have for our morning cup of coffee and an afternoon toast of wine. Our Japanese Garden stream and pond area is starting to slowly fill in. The shrubs and ground covers we planted are taking hold and covering many of our open areas. This year we added eight trees, multiple shrubs, kinnikinnick, cotoneaster, and thyme around the stream and pond area. In addition, we planted several screen trees and shrubs around the top of the garden to shield the view of our neighbors home from the bottom of the pond area.
Next year, we will continue to add ground covers. Then as the trees get larger and produce a little shade, we plan to add rhododendrons, azaleas. and other shade plants to finish off the Japanese garden. And, I’m sure we will find space for a few more Japanese maples.