Japanese Garden is Not Your Ordinary Garden
by David Chandler
Japanese gardening is much different from the Western style garden.
Most would say that a Japanese garden is far more soul soothing
and inspires meditation. Japanese gardening is a cultural form of
gardening that is meant to produce a scene that mimics nature as
much as possible. Using trees, shrubs, rocks, sand, artificial hills,
ponds, and flowing water the garden becomes an art form. The Zen
and Shinto traditions are both a large part of Japanese gardening
and, because of this; the gardens have a contemplative and reflective
state of mind.
The basic methods of scenery are a reduced scale, symbolization,
and borrowed views. The reduced scale is the art of taking an actual
scene from nature, mountains, rivers, trees, and reproducing it
on a smaller scale. Symbolization involves generalization and abstraction.
An example of this would be using white sand to suggest the ocean.
Borrowed views refer to artists that would use something like an
ocean or a forest as a background, but it would end up becoming
an important part of the scene.
There are two types of Japanese gardening. The tsukiyami garden
is a hill garden and mainly composed of hills and ponds. The hiraniwa,
which is the exact opposite of the tsukiyami garden, is a flat without
any hills or ponds.
The basic elements used in Japanese gardening include rocks, gravel,
water, moss, stones, fences, and hedges. Rocks are used as centerpieces
and bring a presence of spirituality to the garden. According to
the Shinto tradition, rocks embody the spirits of nature. Gravel
defines surface and is used to imitate the flow of water when arranged
properly. Stones create a boundary and are sculpted into the form
of lanterns. Water; whether it is in the form of a pond, stream,
or waterfall, is an essential part of a Japanese garden. It can
be in the actual form of water or portrayed by gravel, but no matter
what, it is crucial to a Japanese gardens balance.
There are several forms and types of plants that are signature
of Japanese gardening, the main one being Bonsai. Bonsai is the
art of training everyday, average plants, such as Pine, Cypress,
Holly, Cedar, Cherry, Maple, and Beech, to look like large, old
trees just in miniature form. These trees range from five centimeters
to one meter and are kept small by pruning, re-potting, pinching
of growth, and wiring the branches.
A garden is a wonderful place to relax and meditate. Whether it
is a Japanese garden or Western world garden, designing, building,
and planting is a great family event.
About the Author
For more information about Japanese gardening, visit http://www.japanesegardenguide.com
For resources about general gardening, visit http://www.gardeninfocenter.com