You have a few Japanese Garden Design Options… but don’t waste your time and money with the free designs advertised. There is no such thing as a free Japanese landscaping design that is worth having! To most people this may seem like common sense, but on the other hand I have seen many advertisements for these type of plans. I recommend anyone who is seriously interested in having a Japanese garden in their backyard to avoid such schemes.
Similarly, many of the Do-It-Yourself in one weekend advertisements and books are also going to be very misleading. Anyone who is interested in having an authentic garden should first study up on what style of Japanese garden they are interested in. Next, you need to take into account what type of property you have and where you would like to have you garden. From there you have two Japanese garden design options:
Either look into hiring a professional garden design and installation company, which will cost more, but in the long run you will be happier with the outcome. Do it yourself after you have investigated many different styles of gardens, determined which fits best for you site, and obtained the necessary garden tools to build and maintain your garden.
In either option there needs to be a dedication to studying a little about the styles of gardens available as well as some kind of financial commitment to you project. This is something you cannot achieve though a free online garden design. Don’t expect to spend $200 and recreate the atmosphere of a famous rock garden one Saturday morning. There are a handful of good Japanese landscapers outside of Japan. Take the time to seek out these authorities with experience, the outcome will be worth it.
Although many Japanese gardens appear to be very simplistic, it is in the simplicity that millions of details lie in wait to be discovered by the observer. If you are drawn to and intrigued by a picture of a garden and strive to emulate that in your garden, understand that this tradition is hundreds of years old and has developed over time. Think about what it is that appeals to you in that particular garden and think of how you can realistically create that feeling or atmosphere in your potential garden location.