Designing Japanese Garden Archways

Modern Japanese garden archways architecture is usually referred to as being cutting edge, especially when it comes to making the most out of small spaces. However, the ancient, historical contributions of Japan continue to be in a league of its own. Japanese garden design references can be found on literally every continent in the world. Exotic plants, koi ponds, and gravel walking paths are all elements of the traditional Japanese garden, but garden archways are the key element. Going to a specialty store and purchasing a pre-made archway is fine, but if you want to make a Japanese styled garden that is authentic, you will need to design it.

Visual Aids

Having artistic flare certainly won't hurt, but computer-based software will do the job just as well. Photo books, or even historical knowledge of the Japanese garden will make the design portion of your project much easier. If you don't have either, search for images of famous gardens in Japan until you find a few that you like. Use them as a reference point, then draw or construct a couple of drafts. The most important part of the process will be designing a garden archway that is as beautiful as it is sturdy. Make a miniature replica of your designs using either toothpicks or popsicle sticks to see if they are feasible.

Building Process Decision

Once you pick a design, you will need to determine whether you want to build the archway yourself or hire a carpenter. Either way, it is a good idea to use drafting paper in order to make exact measurements. A well sharpened pencil and good eraser are all that you will need to make drawings from a few angles. Start with a full front angle, then draw the back, top, and bottoms angles of your archway. This will be of great assistance to you or your carpenter.

If you decide to construct a garden archway yourself, be sure that you have access to power tools. A power saw, sander, hammer, nails, and adequate safety gear will be needed. Using light colored wood such as oak, you will begin to cut out all of the elements of your archway. Refer to your hand-drawn blueprints often both during the cutting and construction process. Lastly, go over your archway with a fine grade of sandpaper to buff away all rough surfaces.

A professional carpenter may or may not have experience constructing garden archways, but that will not stop them from constructing a beautiful piece. Give them copies of your hand-drawn blueprints as well as pictures of your original inspiration. Talk to your carpenter at length about what you want your archway to look like, paying special attention to the type of wood that will be used and how it will be placed in your garden. Your carpenter may ask that you look at your archway at various points of construction in order to determine your level of satisfaction. Corrections may need to be made, but in the end, you will have a beautiful Japanese archway to proudly place in your garden.