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Trouble in Japan! please help!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Tigermask on September 15, 2004 06:50 AM
Hi everybody!
I have a problem with what to plant in my back garden. Im living in Kyoto Japan and have a small back garden which due to various factors doesnt get much sun. Basically theres a four foot wall, house, and huge pine tree which are all conspiring to block any direct light from hitting my garden for more than a few hours. The soil is clay based and to top it all off the pine tree practically rains needles on a daily basis. I guess anything I plant would have to be fairly hardy but being a newbie to gardening Im in the dark. please help! [Wink]
by gardenmom32210 on September 15, 2004 02:31 PM
Camellias and azaleas do well in the shade and they would LOVE all those pine needles. In a sunnier spot you might try rhododendrons and junipers. You can use the pine needles as a mulch for all of those.
Hostas,daylillies and peonies might work too.

Karen [grin]
by Bess of the Piedmont on September 15, 2004 07:30 PM
Good suggestions, Karen! And the pine needles could improve the drainage of the clay soil if they were dug into it. Hostas and ferns and astillbe would be nice, too.

I love what the Japanese do with stones and moss. That sort of thing would work in a shady garden.

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by Arctostaphylos on September 15, 2004 11:44 PM
My thoughts echo Bess particullary in as much as you are in Japan, have shade and Pines I would persue a moss garden! Your situation may not be suitable for traditional western gardening but is perfect for a moss garden. One good book I know is "Moss Gardening" by George Schenk. I would be willing to bet that some of your neighbors would love the oppotunity that you have. Good luck.
by Bess of the Piedmont on September 16, 2004 11:59 AM
There are a bunch of websites on moss gardening. Here's a nice one:

I would love to be able to do this and not mow the lawn!

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by Tigermask on September 16, 2004 04:48 PM
Thanks guys! [Wink] Hopefully with my limited command of the japanese language ill be able to enquire down at my local garden centre. Because the garden is a fairly decent size, I think Ill try a combination of your ideas. a Rock and moss garden at one end and flowers and plants at the other. Wow...lots to research! But thats the fun! I like the idea of azaleas and camellias as My folks used to grow them back in the UK. Thanks again to Karen, Bess and Arctostaphylos. I will endeavour to check out the Schenk book and the link you sent me [muggs]
by Bess of the Piedmont on September 17, 2004 09:00 PM
You're welcome! Write us back with updates on your progress, won't you? [gabby]

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by Tigermask on September 18, 2004 04:32 PM
will do. speak to you all again when Ive got something off (in) the ground.
Till then, Sayonnara guys.
by weezie13 on September 19, 2004 05:56 AM
Yes, we LOVE [Cool] updates [critic]
Keep us posted! [gabby]


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2


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