Building a japanese garden in Zone 4 – difficult

So I have been looking at a lot of photos of famous japanese gardens and perusing through Pinterest photos. Living in zone 4 is a little challenging but I’ve been able to find some evergreens that will grow into the nice round shape, can take a fair amount of pruning (or are dwarfs) and are Minnesota winter hardy. Two types of mugo pines, blue chip juniper, velvet boxwood, blue spruce globe, assorted grasses and many other plants have been planted. I’ve also been busy moving plants around the yard. My new favorite nursery to order from is Kigi Nursery in Kelso, WA.  They have many dwarf and miniature plants including japanese black pine, japanese red pine and japanese stone pine. The black pines in the photo will only be 3′ tall and will most likely have to go into the greenhouse over the winter. I plan to order a regular japanese black pine from a nursery in Michigan – while it’s a Zone 5 plant, I’m thinking that if the nursery in Michigan can grow it, then so can I!  To see our progress, check out the page devoted to the 2014 pond. IMG_1519