A Japanese-Style Garden in Ottawa

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Today we’re visiting with Bas Suharto.

I live in Ottawa, Canada, in Zone 5B. I have been gardening since 2007 when I was a student. Gardening in Ottawa is not easy, since the warm season lasts only two months. 

The photos are of my back garden. The idea is a dry lake, in a Japanese-garden style. I built the garden in 2007. The ground cover is Thymus serpyllum (creeping thyme, Zones 4–8).

garden path bordered by creeping thymeThe carpets of creeping thyme in beautiful spring bloom run around the river of gravel. Carefully pruned shrubs and art create the sense of a Japanese garden.

small garden sculpture next to shrubsEvery detail of this garden is perfect, with every shrub and piece of sculpture working together to create a harmonious whole.

Creeping thyme in bloomCreeping thyme makes a beautiful green carpet most of the year, and then in the spring it transforms into a sheet of purple blooms beloved by bees.

wide shot of garden with gravel pathsIn traditional Japanese style, there are islands set into the gravel and a spot for sitting and looking out on the garden and perhaps meditating on the beauty of the scene in front of you.

bearded irises with hostasThe garden isn’t all gravel and thyme. Here a row of hostas (Hosta hybrid, Zones 3–9) and bearded irises (Iris hybrid, Zones 3–9) show off behind a neatly trimmed hedge.

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