Botanical Garden Has Far Eastern Ideas For Making Your Garden Great

Jul 31, 2014

Japanese maple, lantern, meditation rock.
Credit San Antonio Botanical Center

There’s a guided tour happening Saturday morning at the San Antonio Botanical Garden that could change the way you see your garden. 

If your garden is a water-sucking, chaotic landscape, maybe you should look east. Like way east. To Japan.

“It really is one of the most authentic Japanese gardens of its size in the United States,” said Master Gardener Stephanie Jones.

She’s talking about Kumamoto En at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, and a course that’s full of ideas for you.

“The course itself is to discover the benefits of replacing turf grass,” she said.

The two-hour event will be held at the Botanical Garden this Saturday at 9 a.m.    

“My class is designed to give you the basics, the fundamentals of how to create this special place," said Jones. "And the elements of Japanese garden design.”

Kumamoto En View
Credit San Antonio Botanical Center

The added twist is that this program, created by the Botanical Garden and San Antonio Water Systems, is that you consider creating a garden using native, low-water plants. Low maintenance, yet beautiful.

“Really when you think about it, the garden’s most important function, at least to me, is to provide an atmosphere and surroundings, which make day-to-day life happier,” she said.

I asked if whether the native Texas plants she's recommending can realistically look like a Japanese garden.

“They can. Some of the plants are similar," she explained. "One of our favorites in the San Antonio is the Sago Palm. Different trees that you can create a similar affect, such as the flame-leaf sumac or even a Texas Mountain Laurel can look beautiful in a Japanese garden.”

As to what you can expect to take away from the experience, she says this: 

“It will give them the idea that you can create a landscape that’s somewhat different.”

Water representing Pacific Ocean in miniature.
Credit San Antonio Botanical Center