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Hello From Kansas

Started by Grundle, April 18, 2008, 03:21:10 pm

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Hello gardeners!

I found this site in a round-about way.  I guess I would have to give most of the credit to george-in-the-uk, because from his site I was able to slowly work my way here.  I have recently purchased a house and have been wanting to change the look.  Coupling that along with a new-found interest in horticulture (new-found as in the last few years) I guess it was only natural I would end up here.

Unfortunately I know very little about plants, pruning, planting, and growing.  I have no concept of design principles or really how to do anything.  In my favor I have done several major landscaping projects with a guy who is very good at this stuff.  He knows his plants, what compliments a shady spot, and what to put in a sunny place.  Working with him really opened up my eyes to a new world.  The one thing about Japanese gardens that resounds with me is making it emulate nature.  This is something I believe I can do, but I want to take it an extra step and make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye (This I am not sure I can do).

I hope to gain insight from the community here and maybe gain some direction in how I can re-do my back yard to make it a more pleasant place.  I ask for your patience as well since I will most likely ask a lot of ignorant sounding questions that may be common knowlege to the most novice gardener.

I look forward to the living breathing creation that will eventually take shape, and I believe it will be not only due to my efforts, but to all of your input as well.


george in the uk

Hi Zach,
Welcome,you have come to the right place you will get all your questions answered here ,these guys and galls will give you the very best advice.


Hi Zach,  welcome here.

The first step is to get books . If you go to the Professional Forum, there to Papers and Publications, there to Recommended Books, you can have a long list,  try to find some in the library.



Hello fellow Kansan! I didn't expect to see another Kansan here. What part of the state are you from?


Welcome to the forum Zach, your post sounds awfully familiar to me.  I think I wrote the same thing years ago on the GW.  My advice now is take some time, decide what purposes your garden must fulfill, visit Japanese Gardens often while you are learning, read as Andrea suggested and ask as many questions as you can.

While visiting gardens analyze small areas of the gardens and study the use of color, textures, heights,  sizes, and shapes and how you think they relate to each other.  Once you think you have the feel of the spaces in a JG and have gotten to know your new property (soil type, light, distant views that can be incorporated in your design, areas you wish to conceal with landscaping, movement in your garden, (how will you get from one area to the other) keeping in mind no straight lines, I know you will have some great questions for us. 

Hows that for recommended Home Work!  There are also some great web sites to aid you with definitions and components used in a Japanese Garden.

Good luck,



Hey Zack, I am from a small country in the lower Kansas area known as Texas :D.  My home landscape goal is local ecology guided by Japanese garden principals and theory - give or take a water pump, pine, and maple or two.

And welcome to horticulture.  I hope your friend warned you of the mental, physical, and financial hazards of the field.  But if it is too late for you, we will try to help you through your developing addiction.  You can pick your level of japanese gardening as  passtime, hobby, obsession, or art.  Whatever you choose, you can't loose.



Don: I imagine it will develop into an obsession.  I am highly interested in edible wilderness species as well and have made a study of it.  I used to enjoy more mundane hobbies such as "tooling" etc.  I realized that the unique thing about a garden is that it is a living and breathing thing that gives back to you as you invest in it.  It does not deteriorate, but constantly evolves and grows along with you.  I am interested mostly in the artistic aspect of the garden, but I am also very practical and love to have useful plants around.  Thoughts of a plum tree yielding fruit make me extremely giddy.  The idea of using bamboo to build something else makes my imagination wander.  The only daunting thing for me is I feel that there is a world of information that I don't know, but even if I move a grain of sand at a time I will slowly move that mountain.

June: Thank you for the encouraging words.  I have seen your garden, and have already drawn inspiration from it.  I am extremely motivated when I realize that it is indeed possible for me to be able to create something spectacular.  Thank you for the good advice, I will start on my assignment immediately :)

rhysande:  I noticed from your post that you live in Overland Park.  We are practically neighbors!  I live in Mission, so that puts us about 10-15 minutes away from each other.  I imagine we can be a mutual help in the form of manpower, inspiration, and many other things.  I look forward to hearing more from you!



I grew up near the Shawnee Indian Mission; you're near my old stomping grounds. I'm just starting out too, so I'll be learning along with you. If we're both planning to order the same plants, we may be able to get a bulk order and split it. That should help a little with the budget.


That sounds like a great idea to me.  Just keep me updated in PM's or in a separate thread.  It could be extremely fun!

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