What plants, other than ferns and cut-leaf maples, would you recommend to be included in a japanese garden? There is a great variety of plants that could be used in a japanese garden. It depends on what type of garden you have in mind. Japanese gardens have evolved from primitive "Tei" gardens, to gardens that were influenced by the Sung and Tang Dinasties.
These gardens were very sumptuous and depicted dramatic landscape features. There were also Buddhist gardens that depicted paradise on earth. Influenced by the tea cerimony and its aesthetics, the military lords of feudal Japan, comissioned some very interesting gardens that still exist. My favorites are the Zen gardens and their simplicity. As you can see, there are many different types of japanese gardens, and they could use many different types of plants and materials.
Most all japanese gardens are use as a place of peace and quite. A way for the gardener to get out of the world and just enjoy sometime to themselves and there family. A lot of gardeners take a lot of pride in there garden. There garden reflects the way the gardener sees or feels like when they go out into there garden. A lot of monks and buddhist spend a lot of time in there gardens cleaning and just enjoying the great gifts that they were given. They even belive that if you listen hard enough you can hear the plants talking to you.
Bonsai refers to the miniaturizing of a plant, but it does not identify the type of plant that it is. There are hundreds of different types of bonsai plants. All of the bonsai plants out there never have the same name, but the only thing that they do have in common is that they are from the bonsai family. A complete description of the plant – leaf dimensions, leaf color, number of stems growing from the soil, does the stem branch or grow straight, does it have bark, and any other distinguishing characteristics that would ID your plant.
There are many types of bonsai trees out there for example: Madagascar palm bonsai tree, jade bonsai, and azalea bonsai. Bonsais are rarely easy and nearly always very expensive – and profitable! Unlike many bonsais, a Jade can survive as a houseplant. Bonsais are potted in a variety of different containers of different sizes and shape and with varied soil compositions.
But not all jade bonsai are the same. Having good inforamtion on the type of bonsai and what is need for it is something you can ask where you go and get your plants from, take inforamtion off the internet, look at books on bonsais, or you can talk to another gardener about it.
Azaleas Bonsai are tough to keep because Azaleas do not tolerate dryness and Bonsais have little soil and small pots so they dry out quickly. That means you may have to water your Azalea every day or two, although I cannot be sure of that without knowing the size and other factors. The withering that you mentioned is probably due to excessive soil dryness.
In addition, your Azalea needs at least a few hours of direct sun every day and it prefers cool temperatures. It may do better outside in a cool semi-shaded area during the warmer months. In any case, this is not an easy plant as it is very unforgiving of any lapses in watering, light or temperature.
The presence of fungus gnats is a good indication that the soil is staying too moist and the roots are rotting. The fungus gnat larvae feed on the decaying roots. I cannot say just how often your Bonsai should be watered, but is is apparent that you are watering too frequently. I suggest watering no more than twice per week as long as there is no evidence that the plant is wilting. This will help curb the root rot which, unlike the gnats, will kill the plant.
Adult fungus gnats fly around and are an annoyance, but they are not harmful to people. Each gnat lives for about 5 days. The trick is to get rid of the next generation – the gnat larvae that live in the top layer of the soil. Try to keep the soil as dry as possible. Remove all loose soil and rocks from the surface and place 1/2 inch slices of raw potato on the surface of the soil. These potato slices will attract the gnat larvae.
After a day or so, discard the slices along with the larvae inside. Repeat this until there are no more larvae in the potato. You just need to be a little more careful about how much water you give your bonsai after all the larvae are gone. Make sure that you do keep you bonsai tree in the sun.