Rich and Lucy:
Your garden is incredible, how'd you come up with the Japanese theme ?
I had a Japanese pen pal as a child, I was also a member of the Koi club and Bonsai society so I had an interest in the culture for a long time. I finally decided to try and make a Japanese garden and you see what happened.
Very impressive garden. How long have you been working on the garden? What part of your garden do you enjoy the most?
We have owned the property for 27 years, the Japanese garden took 3 summers to complete. That garden is 6 years old now. Like all gardeners I know it's a work in progress and changes a little bit each year. I must say that I do enjoy my Japanese garden the most, my wife loves the front yard and the porch. Thanks
Do birds go after your fish? How cold are your winters? Do you loose fish this way? Great pond. Would like one.
The great blue heron did come to my first and very small water feature that had 6 small goldfish. After that I decided to build my Koi pond. It is 5.5 feet deep in the open area and 2 feet under the tea house. The walls are straight down, no shelves. No heron can get in, but raccoons are an issue. We are zone 5, but last winter was very long and sustained cold . I did loose all my Koi and 4 catfish. The Koi measured 27 inches and the cats were 30 inches. I thought I did everything right but the fish died anyway.
We have a pretty plain backyard right now. Just a few overgrown bushes around the house. Do you have any suggestions on what our first gardening steps would be if our ultimate goal was to create something like this?
I've learned that the hard scape should be the first thing you get done. The plantings will be selected for site specifics like sun, part sun, part shade, full shade, etc . Make sure you have great soil, amend if necessary. If you can afford it, an irrigation system is really good to install early in the process. Good luck.
That is incredible for a zone 5, I am zone 4. I love all the shade type plants. Racoons can be very naughty to put it mildly.