Home and Garden

A Japanese-Style Garden in Ottawa


Today we visit Bas Suharto.

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

The photos are from my garden. The idea is a dry Japanese garden style lake. I created the garden in 2007. The ground cover is Thymus serpyllum (creeping thyme, zones 4–8).

The carpets of creeping thyme in beautiful spring bloom run around the gravel river. Carefully trimmed shrubs and art create the sense of a Japanese garden.

small garden sculpture next to bushesEvery detail of this garden is perfect. Each shrub and each sculpture form a harmonious whole.

Creeping thyme in full bloomCreeping thyme makes a gorgeous carpet of green for most of the year, then turns into a leaf of purple blooms in the spring that bees love.

wide view of the garden with gravel pathsIn traditional Japanese style there are islands in the gravel and a place to sit and look at the garden and maybe meditate on the beauty of the scene in front of you.

Irises with hostasThe garden is not just gravel and thyme. A number of hostas (hosta hybrid, zones 3–9) and irises (iris hybrid, zones 3–9) can be seen behind a neatly cut hedge.

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Robert Dunfee