Asian Landscaping Ideas
Image by krantzpeter from Pixabay

Asian Landscaping Ideas

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  • This Japanese maple is highlighted successfully by the low groundcovering plants at its base.
  • Statuary and colorful plantings can be used to create a focal area from a bare wall.
  • This courtyard sets an inviting scene from inside the home.
  • A side yard can become a place of beauty with careful design.

Asian Landscape Style Guide

Use this design sheet to help you create the perfect Asian landscape. You’ll get ideas for color, décor, materials, plants and fabric. It is a great starting point for any landscaping project.

Asian Landscape Style Guide (PDF)

Japanese maple
Flowering cherry


Groundcovers & perennials:
Asiatic jasmine
Star jasmine
Mondo grass

The Asian landscape is known for a meditative feeling of serenity. Stone and natural elements invite contemplation, while carefully-shaped plantings show our human interaction with the land.

AJ Shepard, a landscape architect with over 35 years of experience, enjoys the influence of the Asian style because of its calming nature. He’s traveled extensively in Asia, so his knowledge of the culture informs his design sense. Here, he shares his tips for creating an authentic Asian landscape.


  • Do incorporate art pieces into the Asian garden. “Art makes an important focal point, and adds another layer of interest to the garden, ” explains Shepard. However, use pagoda towers and other overtly Asian sculptures sparingly. “Softer and subtler Asian elements can set the scene without visually dominating the space.”
  • Do plan garden views by looking out your windows. “Use the sightlines from the house to place focal points or set a soothing scene to enjoy from indoors, ” says Shepard. “This creates an outdoor space you’ll feel invited to explore.”
  • Do create meandering paths. It’s believed that straight pathways allow malevolent spirits to go directly into the house, while a zigzag pathway hinders their movement into the living areas of a home.