Japanese gardens


Lesson 07:Types Of Gardens

Japanese gardens

  • Japanese gardens are an imitation of nature.
  • The oriental landscape grew out of centuries of trials and experiments to perfect and refine a design that adequately reflected the philosophy to fit their limitations
  • The characteristics that made the Japanese gardens most favourable were space and vista effect, privacy and tranquility, sense of age and antiquity, manifestation of the rhythm of nature in the elemental forces, imagination, humanized naturalism, static quality and evergreens, opposite concepts and symbolism.
  • The gardens also provided logical economic, aesthetic and spiritual unity.
  • A Japanese garden may either be in the form of a large public park or a small family garden designed for living
  • It is further classified based on position, shape and purpose.

Broadly speaking, there are five important types of gardens known as

  • Japanese artistry combines plants, stones, water and other material in simple, unrestrained but uncluttered association.
  • Materials, used include carefully selected plants, natural flow of water, stone lanterns, sands, pebbles, rocks, boulders and symbolic ornaments.
  • Placement of each piece is carefully chosen to account the composition.
  • In the hill garden, the most important feature is the hill which combined a pond and a stream.
  • Planting of evergreens is preferred.
  • Rock arrangements are combined with plantings along the shore of the pond and the banks of the stream.
  • Pair of massive tall stone stands are placed on each side of the water fall.
  • Stone lanterns are placed at appropriate points to furnish light for walking in the garden at night.
  • A flat garden is laid out on level ground with no hills or ponds, stones, trees, stone lanterns, water basins and wells.
  • Various features are introduced into the scheme so as to lend scenic beauty to the environment.
  • The tea garden is generally attached to a tea house and presents a view of the beautiful scene around.
  • There is an outdoor and an indoor garden.
  • A water basin in which people wash their hands and stone lanterns are also provided for illumination.
  • The entire path is studded with stepping stones.
  • The outer garden will have simple plantings and stone surroundings.
  • The inner garden is a subdued area planted with evergreens.
  • The entrance to the tea house is through a low door so that the guests have to enter bowing their heads, simulating respect and humility.
  • A tea house forms the integral part of the garden laid out in the Japanese style.
  • Some gardens are laid out in narrow passages which are known as passage gardens.
  • The layout of this type of garden is simple and is not over-crowded.
  • Hardly any ornaments are placed in the garden.
  • The important feature in the garden is a few key rocks, slabs of stone and a few plants with open form and slender shape.
  • A sand garden is the simplest type and is totally devoid of plants. The only features in these gardens are gravel and stones.
  • The gravel is raked in very simple patterns to simulate the rippling of flowing water.
  • The main features in the Japanese garden are stones; water features like streams, ponds and lakes, waterfalls, islands, wells and fountains; artefacts like lanterns, water basins, bridges, sculptures, towers, sand designs; enclosures like fences, walls, hedges and gates and stepping stones and pavements.
  • The planting of a Japanese garden is based on the idea of creating a permanent picture and to imitate nature by using natural elements.
  • The selection and planting of needle and broad-leafed tress play a major role in the garden.
  • The broad principles of using plants in a proper manner are to give a large perspective to a comparatively small garden, to give a garden a distant view, to get difference in levels, to get the right shape and size of the garden, to introduce varieties as per demand of the design, to avoid colour clashes and also to utilize the changing colour of leaves.
  • To fulfill certain objectives, the trees are grouped as principle trees, view finding trees, trees of solitude, cascade screening trees, trees of the setting sun and distancing pines.
Last modified: Saturday, 10 December 2011, 12:48 PM