I have refreshed the content and will be posting regularly again. Maybe you haven’t visited for a while- if that is the case welcome back and if it’s your first visit I am delighted to welcome you.
I have recently put together a number of articles on Japanese gardens and various aspects of these stunning creations. This week i will post a couple on this blog for your information. And the good news is ….I am starting today!
Japanese Style Gardens-An Article By Russ Chard
Japanese style gardens are unique, very ordered and havens of peace and tranquillity. They provide a window on a type of gardening and design that stretches back for hundreds of years and is steeped in tradition, history and strict rules to follow for very specific reasons.
To understand much more about the development of Japanese style gardens it would be worth finding out about their history and the subsequent metamorphosis of early designs into the types of Japanese style gardens that we can see all over the world today.
Essentially Japanese style gardens fall into the following categories:
Pond Gardens where viewing is often done on the water itself by boat. Tea gardens which are always enjoyed from a path through the garden which leads to the tea ceremony pavilion, house or a gazebo. Sitting gardens are exactly what the name suggests, they are viewed from inside a building or from a veranda for example. In the early history of Japanese style gardens these were very popular with the rich and wealthy who commissioned their construction.
Strolling gardens are designed so a path will circumnavigate the garden to give many different areas to view the garden from and there are some magnificent examples of these types of Japanese style gardens all over the world today from Japan itself to the United states , Europe and Australasia. Viewers have the opportunity to choose their favourite ‘vistas’ to take in the views and the design.
Another type of Japanese style garden is the Karensui which is a dry garden that uses Zen techniques to create ‘mimic’ landscapes and uses ‘dry’ water , this is essentially sand that is raked to look like the sea or a large body of water. It’s very effective indeed.
Karensui gardens are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism so they tend to be peaceful, simple and waterless but there is a very significant use of stones and rocks in a Karensui garden. This particular type of Japanese style garden is fairly easy to construct in small areas and so is popular with people who want an authentic Zen experience at home.
Here are a few of the common ingredients together with their Japanese names that are found in Japanese style gardens which I hope you will find useful. Zen symbolism is ever present because of the history and traditions of Japanese gardens. Stones of Ishi in Japanese are not only used in ‘dry’ gardens or Zen gardens as they have a very significant place in Japanese style gardens history. There are good stones that are used for their positive effect and there are types of stones that are considered negative and they must never be used in Japanese style gardens.
Water is Mizu and Shokbutsu is Japanese for plantings. Bridges are called Hashi are they are a very important part of Japanese gardens especially in strolling gardens. Ornaments are Tenkeibutsu , fences and gates are also used in construction and a gate is a crucial part of the entrance to a Japanese tea garden . These types of Japanese style gardens are amongst my favourites as despite their man made construction you really wouldn’t be able to tell as they appear very natural with stepping stones, small clusters of tress and stone lanterns that are so effective and calming.
Japanese style gardens speak volumes because of their serene surroundings and ordered designs. Everything in a Japanese style garden is there for a reason and to understand the rules and traditions will make a visit far more enjoyable to the soul as well as the eye.
If you would like to learn more about Japanese gardens and Zen gardens please take a look at my FREE Japanese gardens video by CLICKING HERE
You may have not noticed that I now have a FREE Japanese gardens video for you to watch , to see it either click on the link at the end of the above article or go to : www.japzengardens.org/freevideo.htm
Have a good day and please come back and feel free to post on here for other Japanese garden lovers to enjoy and feel free to ask questions too!!