Japanese garden

Japanese garden

    Japanese garden
    Japanese gardens style is ‘nature in miniature’ which enables them to meditate, be in harmony with nature even while they are busy with daily routine. Both the Persian and Japanese garden designs were based on their respective ideas of heaven. One most admirable feature of the Japanese garden is that while other major styles of
    Courtesy: http://fc.francisparker.org
    gardening of the world changed radically or fallen into disfavour, the Japanese continued the same style for centuries but still remained popular. This can be attributed to the special relation of the Japanese gardens to nature.
    A most important teaching of the Japanese garden is possibly that “unless a garden has an air of peace it’s not worth a place visiting. It should be a place where the mind finds rest and relaxation.”
    Forms or types of Japanese gardens
    A Japanese garden may either be in the form of a large public park or a small family garden. The Japanese gardens are further classified based on positions, shape, and purpose. The important types are:

    1. Hill garden
    2. Flat garden
    3. Tea garden
    4. Passage garden
    5. Sand gardens

    Hill garden: The main features of hill garden are hills, streams and ponds along with other features. This style is known in Japanese as ‘Tsukiyama-niwa or Tsukiyama-sansui’, meaning hills and water. The features of the hill garden are described below.
    i. Ornamental water
    Water is the life of the garden and necessary feature of hill gardens. It may be present in the form of big lakes with a calm tranquil surface or symbolically in the form of water basins of natural shape.
    Waterfall is another means to bring the natural setting into a garden. A group of stones is raised and water is allowed to fall from it naturally. The trees are planted in front of the place where water falls. Wells serve a dual purpose for beauty as well as utility.
    ii. Islands
    Islands are important feature and are located in the middle of the pond. Rocks are used as foundation and soil is deposited on it. Then trees are planted and stones are erected in an irregular manner to give natural touch. Islands many be connected by a bridge or left isolated.
    Different Islands are formed because hills, lakes and islands are complementary beauties. They are given personal touch by naming them as Master Island, Guest Island and Central Island.
    iii. Hills and hillocks
    A bigger sized broad viewed hill forms the main feature (Hill-1). Secondary to it, a lower hill is created adjacent to Hill-1 and is called companion hill (Hill-2). A lower Hill-3 is projected front opposite to Hill-1. Hill-4 is elegantly introduced in the foreground close to Hill-3 and below Hill-2. At the far end, Hill-5 is to be located which could be seen from all parts of the garden.
    iv. Stones
    Stone structures are used to depict different natural moods, ideas of spirituality and melody. There are 5 such types of stones as described below:
    • Status stone: A tall vertical stone bulging out towards middle and finishing at the top suggesting a human at thinking or meditating.
    • Low vertical stone: is rounded at the base and its top is bent resembling the bud of magnolia.
    • Flat stone: is a low broad stone of irregular shape with a flat top suggesting submissiveness.
    • Recumbent or ox stone: resembles trunk of an animal. Its long curved and bent boulder suggests an animal hiding in a bush.
    • Arching stone is arch like as its name indicates and suggests flexibility in thought.
    v. Trees
    Trees are planted with certain objectives and have been given specific names.
    • Principal tree: Group of trees planted at the central part of background.
    • View perfecting tree: A tree planted in the foreground of an island.
    • Tree of solitude: Group of trees with thick foliage in the background on one side.
    • Cascade screening tree: Group of bushy or leafy tree planted at the side of waterfall to hide the portion of it.
    • Tree of setting sun: is planted in the west side to filter the glare of setting sun.
    • Distancing tree: Pine plants planted to give a forest look.
    vi. Garden lanterns
    Stone and bronze lanterns were used to decorate Buddhist temples. They became the thing of beauty in gardens also. Standard lanterns or legged lanterns or stone lanterns are used in an informal manner to decorate the garden.
    vii. Garden pagoda
    It may be in the form of stone tower or pagoda. The roof may have three, five or seven a nine or eleven separate roots.
    viii. Garden bridges
    They are made of natural wood of stone varying in size and width. They are used to connect islands. Either single stone or many pieces have been used to make the bridges sometime, semicircular arch. Form of bridges are constructed on the special ponds to permit the passage of boats under it. The bridges are named as wooden trestle bridge, ‘peeping’ bridge, ‘Granite slat bridge’ curved bracket bridge, Chinese full moon bridge etc.

    Garden bridges
    Courtesy: http://www.shutterstock.com

    Japanese Tea Gardens
    In Japanese culture, the tea ceremony has gained the status of national ceremony and has been intricately woven with life style. Tea garden is nature recreated in miniature in front of the house.
    The present day Japanese tea garden is sectioned into three areas viz., sotoroji (outer section) machi (middle section) and uchiroji (inner section)
    Outer section: The guests are supposed to wait after removing shoes. Paths will be provided with stepping stones to lead to middle section. Stone benches of irregular size are provided and the area is not planted with many kinds of plants except grasses.
    Middle section: Stone troughs with water are kept for the guests to clean themselves before making entry into the inner section. Here also the stepping stones and naturally looking objects are located in a improper manner.
    Inner garden: It is extremely simple and natural stones, lanterns, rocks water basins which look as antiques are placed. The trees, shrubs, annual and grasses are put in an informal manner. A rustic well compete with lever, rope, bucket, pulley etc. is an essential feature of inner garden. Hedge walls are provided to look natural. The selection of trees is such that when the outer garden is exposed to the light the inner must be darkened by shady evergreen trees.
    Flat gardens
    Flat gardens lack ups and down and are devoid of hills, streams and ponds. They are created for confined places and are secondary in importance. Mostly ‘Moore’ type gardens are developed to create scenic beauty, other adornments like stones, wells, water basins, trees, etc. are used. Water current of an ocean effect is produced by covering the land surface with pure sand. The rocks or pebbles are so arranged that they give an effect of diversion or rush or water.
    Some typical trees of Japanese gardens are:
    (a) Evergreen trees: Pines, different species of Abies, Cryptomeria japonica, Podocarpus macrophylla, and Juniperus chinensis
    (b) Deciduous trees: Maples (Acer species), Poplars (Populus sp.) Mulbery, (Morus alba), and Salix babylonica (willow)
    (c) Flowering trees: The most commonly used plants are different Prunus species, besides Magnolia grandiflora and others.
    (d) Shrubs: Aucuba japonica, Azaleas, Gardenia florida, Nandina domestica, Camellia, Lagestroemia indica, Rhododendrons.
    Bamboos play a special role in the Japanese gardens. The striking patterns of shadow cast by the arching bamboos against paved path, fences, and patios look beautiful. A paved path in the entrance garden bordered by bamboos simulates a grove.
    The Japanese use more flowers like chrysanthemums, asters (e.g., Aster fastigiatus, A. glehnii, A. microcephalus), carnation, different lilies, irises, lotuses, peonies, and orchids. Among the vines, (Clematis, Lonicera japonica, Ipomoea hederacea (Syn. Pharbitis headeacea), Ipomoea purpurea (Syn. Pharbitis purpurea), Trachelosermum jasminoides, and Wisteria sinensis are often used.


Last modified: Friday, 22 June 2012, 12:51 PM