I don't aspire to a Japanese garden, beautiful as they are.
But I saw lots of good ideas that I can use in my Colorado garden. For example, the Japanese recognise different types of gardens. Flower gardens for cutting flowers, of course. But a strolling garden is for walking and should have diverse views as the paths turn (the two photos above). That's different from a viewing garden, where the purpose of the garden is to provide beautiful views from a window or other fixed vantage point.
|Viewing garden, always seen from this one large window|
|Zen garden: you sit along its edges to contemplate|
the rocks as islands in an ocean,
or other images they evoke
|This was the view from the breakfast table two years ago, |
Its not much better now: bland, though the maple tree tries to brighten it.
Like the Japanese, Coloradans garden with lots of rocks. Modern Japanese gardens may just go for pleasant lines, but historically, gardens incorporated rocks that evoked auspicious images. A large round rock would be a turtle, symbol of longevity; a pair of rocks set vertically a pair of cranes, noted for their devotion to a single mate throughout their lives, a square stone on a large rectangular rock might mimic a lantern, welcoming guests to the garden...and so on. My rocks are just rocks...what an opportunity I've missed not to choose ones that look like something to me.
|The rocks at the far side of the pond are set vertically to|
make you think of a waterfall
|The gravel turns the garden into an island|
Comments and corrections welcome.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWanderingBotanist
You might also like these blog posts:
Visiting Northern Japan link
Visiting Japan--Pruned Trees and Shrubs link
Impressions of Japan: Visiting Japan--Gardens, Plants, Contrasts link