This is a garden design style that is restrained, thoughtful and spiritual.  Scale is a common theme that links and reinforces the oriental garden. The man-made aspects are deliberate, restrained and immaculate, and conscious use is made of paving, gravel and large smooth boulders. These features are the result of ancient and complex Oriental thought processes. Overall, the effect is one of controlled calm, meticulous maintenance, repose and the result of centuries-old thought.

Textures include all-important bamboo fences laced with knots and cool moss under pine trees.  Gravel, pine and acers can add further texture and interest and sometimes water is used to create movement and sound.

Balance is the key to good oriental design.  All the elements within the garden much achieve a balance with each other from all viewpoints.

Oriental garden showing a lantern, planting bridge, walkway and a stream.

While the garden is artificially created it must also be in balance and in harmony with it’s surroundings, the natural landscape and the buildings with which it is associated.  While everything must of necessity be in balance and in harmony focalisation is also very much evident.  Each object is almost always plainly in view and invites you look and to see how it operates visually with the other elements of the garden.

Pathways that lead you around the garden and that can vary in width, direction and surface quality are most often a feature especially when the begin and end at a gateway.  The gateway, like the fence is usually a visual barrier to whatever is outside and is a feature in and of itself.  If become the portal to another world, the world outside the garden.  

Bamboo can be used to really good effect, becoming a visual mechanism to balance a building, to screen a view or form a fountain shape in conjunction with your water feature. 

Because the oriental garden is deeply rooted in eastern philosophy and thought processes it is rarely carried out with a high degree of success in the Occident, except by Oriental practitioners.