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How to make a miniature Japanese garden

Updated February 21, 2017

The Japanese design and create miniature gardens in an attempt to reproduce a natural Japanese scene, using a variety of materials and miniature plants no more than about 10 cm (4 inches) tall. Think small and try your hand at your own miniature Japanese garden.

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  1. Plan ahead for your miniature Japanese garden. A Japanese garden should have tiny Japanese bridges, a pond or stream and miniature trees. A formal Japanese garden will have simple pathways and sculptures.

  2. Lay a foundation of damp potting soil 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep and cover the potting soil with a layer of sand.

  3. Add more sand where needed to mold mountains and hills. If desired, sprinkle some white sand or powder on mountaintops to represent snow.

  4. Place some small stones in the Japanese garden.

  5. Plant the small tree and the ground covering of your choice.

  6. Arrange the sand to appear like streams running between the stones and mountains, and place the miniature bridges over them.

  7. Leave your miniature Japanese garden as is, or add more embellishments if you desire.

  8. Tip

    Dollhouse suppliers are an excellent source for tiny sculptures and bridges, at prices considerably cheaper than specialty garden shops.

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Things You'll Need

  • Japanese style dish, at least 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter, and a minimum of 5 cm (2 inches) deep.
  • Miniature ground covering such as decorative grasses, Irish moss, tiny succulents or lemon thyme
  • Sand
  • Multi-colored pebbles or terrarium rocks
  • Small stones
  • Potting soil
  • Bonsai tree, miniature rose or anything small enough to represent a tiny tree
  • Miniature bridges and statues
  • Small pieces of balsa wood for fences
  • Tiny shards of broken china or tile for pathways
  • White sand or white powder

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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