The Fundamentals of a Garden
Most of us have a notion of what a garden looks like. We think of details that come to mind, things such as the popular maples giving off their fiery glow in the fall. Or expanses of Kurume azaleas or rhododendrons with their nice spring colors. Or perhaps it is the rustling of a slender bamboo in the breeze.
Whatever it is, there is something about the standard garden. But is there, in fact, such a thing as a typical garden?
There are different kinds of gardens, each using their very own character, if you will.
Some of the best known gardens in Japan, have hardly any plantings at all, but are comprised of carefully tended “seas” of fine gravel surrounding rock groupings. There is no better illustration of this than the world garden at Ryoan-ji.
Ryoan-ji receives tens of thousands of visitors each year and is the best example of a Zen type garden. It is considered de rigeur for all school children in the region to visit .
While a backyard may seem to be quite simple in both its’ design and construction, it is recognized that much thought went into this magical place to reach this degree of perceived simplicity.
The spectrum of garden types spans, from the garden to pond type gardens with their swimming and brightly colored koi, at Ryoan-ji.
One of the favorite tricks of garden designers in the past has been to utilize scenery. This is to make the garden seem to blend in with does, and take advantage of, the immediate environment. It gives the impression of much greater size.
Whether these surroundings consist of distant mountain views, or are very close, by carefully designing seeing areas to take full advantage of the natural environment every effort is made to incorporate such perspectives.
These gardens are usually small, and are included as a distinct part of a larger garden. The Nitobe Gardens in Vancouver are an example of such a tea garden. The garden itself is fairly large and contains the majority of the elements you would expect to find in an garden of the type.
Should you find yourself interested in the subject of how to build your own style garden, an exceptional place to start would be to study those gardens in existence. You have the capability to travel to Japan and see some of these gardens first hand should not dissuade you. For us, the world wide web has given us access to the best of the best.
By no means a poor resource, and second, their exists a selection. Over the years I have been able to collect a library by many of the best authors on the topic.
Join me as we continue with a series of articles on Japanese gardens, and drop by http://www.squidoo.com/japanesegardeninghowto for a further glimpse into this fascinating world.