Japanese Gardens and Chinese Gardens
Japanese Gardens Book
Some gardeners who are tired of the same old planting beds and hardscape features and wish to experiment adopt the Japanese design style. If you have tried this style and have learned enough about it to know that you wish to raise the bar for yourself, then I recommend Yoko Kawaguchi's book.
Bamboo Plants for Japanese Gardens
Considering bamboo plants for your Japanese garden? Although usually thought of as tropical plants, some bamboo plants are cold-hardy. This FAQ on bamboos provides an introduction on the subject, including how to select and contain bamboo plants so that they don't spread out of control.
Introduction to Growing Bonsai Trees, Bonsai Tree Care
If plants could sue us, I think there would be a case pending over the practicing of bonsai on plants. We take a tree and stunt its growth by letting it get root-bound in its pot (usually considered a bad thing in plant care). And we manipulate its branching pattern so that it looks like something that should be growing next to a haunted house. Doesn't sound fair to the tree!
This feature introduces the topic of Japanese gardens, the principles of which are so often misunderstood in the West. The author focuses on a couple of points to help distinguish the style of the Orient from that of the West: nature and balance. "Could this occur in nature?" is one guiding question to ask in pursuing a design faithful to the Oriental style. Another is: "Are the elements in my proposed design in correct proportion to each other?"
Chinese Garden Design
This resource on Chinese gardens notes that the concept "garden" is somewhat different in China from its counterpart in the West. For example, in the West, buildings are "incidental" (we may install a storage shed in a garden area for utilitarian purposes, but the space in question is still a "garden" without the building). The author points out that such is not the case in the classic Chinese garden.
The Use of Stone in Japanese Gardens
A stone is not just a stone in traditional Japanese gardens. Even if you are not interested in the philosophy behind stone in Japanese landscaping, you may pick up some interesting ideas from this link.