What is a japanese garden

inkognitoFebruary 13, 2007

I have a garden,I live in Quebec so I imagine mine is a 'Quebec garden', a garden or a style not to be ignored given the history of this land and the people.This is not a "green and pleasant land" and the old guys made of it what they could.There is no aesthetic precedent. Japanese peasants were in the same boat, they had nothing material either. I live where the brutal extraction of life from the land is a severe emphasis on the difference between working with the land and something I can't get my head around.

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sunsi(z5 NY)

A "few words" on Japanese gardens this doesn't seem to be a subject people can answer in a sentence or two, lol

Cut & Paste these addresses to your browser, sorry :)




    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 4:29AM
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What is a Japanese Garden.

Well answering this is quit simple to me now that I have collected rocks of Japanese styles for the past 3 years on and off. For during that interum of on and off collecting periods I was sometimes over enthusiastic with my finds and wanting to share. Having an empty belly after such hunting excursions ? Of course ! Stop at a Japanese or even an Asian establishment of some sort that serves food and show the owner o remployees the rock. Not Boulders haha. Ok.. I admit once or wtice I lugged to the front door a boulder : ) I knew better than that most often so it was Just a palm sized rock that fits in ones pocket.

Blank stares.
This is not Japanese.
That is old Japan and no one likes these things anymore . Its forgotten art.
Doesnt look like a dragon or mountian. " Hands me back the stone "
This is a mountian but it looks like bad one .

"That is a Dragon but it is Japanese looking", so tells me the Chinese Man and vice versa from the Japanese man , " This is a dragon but it is Chinese looking and not suiseki to boot. Maybe not even a dragon. Looks like Amercian dragon, fantasy. Fake looking. you dont have have good eye. Look at this painting on the wall. that is Japanese . " I look and think to myself well it's not my fault that one person tells me its Chinese Dragon then Japanese then fantasy american and maybe nothing at all !! haha.No worries. Listen and learn. Everyone has diffeent perspectives and this opens my mind to see more and more.
Why you show me this ?

Not interested in rocks. This is business.I am busy. Owner keeps working as a cue for me to leave. I do so shamed for even asking to look at the rock. I must be nuts for even having asked. And as I walk back to my car I'm too embarrased to go back after realizing I never ordered soem take out at least. I was hungry too. What is a Japanese Rock then ? Maybe its not the rock but knowing the way to go about things. Does This lead to what is a Japanese Garden? Not the Garden per say but how you go about the manners , socail practices , niceties , rules , common senses of a culture , what is expected and not expected in the given environments each style of garden offers ? This makes sense now that I am learning what is right way and wrong way about showing my rock to just anyone becuase I was excited at my find and wanted some recognition input from a culturaly relevent person.

Since I was very hungry most of times I didnt argue the points of a stone once I got blank stares or the cues of " Not Interested " This made me oly more stubborn !! I tried my best to find a better Japanese related form in the next rock hunting expidition for I wanted to make the Japanese restaurant people to say ," YES THAT IS A JAPANESE ROCK" I ate in silence after showing my rocks . Sombering mood. Reality hits home. I'm alone with my Japanese Hobby among Japanese and or Asians at thier place of business. What an idiot I felt like.

I was at an Italian Deli recently and saw an Asian with salt and pepper hair working the counter. Now knowing not to bother strangers anymore based upon my own pre conceived stereotypes and assuptions ..educated guesses.. I kinda stepped side to side like a lil kid perusing the cold cuts and salads as if I was undecided on my choice of food . I was simply undecided if I should as him questions related to my hobby.There were 3 other men workiong the counter. Looked like two were from Latin America. And I didnt see an Italian guy in sight who would like most bosses object to his help carrying on a lengthy conversation about Art of all things.you know..just in case this guy knew and we did talk ..haha.. I;ve had that happen to me. I SooooOOooooo wanted to ask this Asian man of what culture , country region his backround was of . And follow up with if he ever experienced any type of rock artforms from his childhood or of late with fiends familly etc.

Well. I felt like I shouldnt ask so I just ordered my food.

Following week I was there again and the place was empty but for two employees . Was late near closing time .I had my girlfriend with me whome I asked of her opinion about my quirky out of the blue nature of bothering people about my likes and hobbies.If I remember correctly she told me to go for it. MY memory is no tto be trusted : ) Sometimes I recall what I wanted..not what I didnt want to hear. The Asian fellow was there . I walked out calmly fro mthe Deli and ran across the parking lot to my car and pocketed one of the rocks I found . Simple question I asked. "Do you know this rock to be of an Asian artfrom ? I found it in a river and call this a Suiseki Rock."

The Gentleman looked at the rock and we spoke. I asked him of his backround. He is Korean. He told me the Korean name for collecting what in Japan is called a Suiseki stone. I know it ended in Sek He was very happy to meet me . And I him. It was short and sweet . I took it for granted he knew what is a Japanese Garden . What Asian gardens using stones are and thier easthetics and qualities . My illogical reasoning for this assumption is that I believe Suiseki is a fine arts form that requires talents at times judging percieving any fine artfrom? this man saw things in the rock that I too saw and I feel that this artfrom is a talent for me. I'm good at it . I havent found many things in life I can say I was naturaly good at. And this fellow saw everything I saw. So I felt if we both spoke about topics on my likes of Kare San Sui dryscapes he and I would click..and converse even go as far as push eachother to see what the other doesnt..hence learn together. I really liked how sharp he was. Quick eyed and precise.Gut feelings. I'm not talking about the erudite , historical and factual laws rules of what is a Japanese Garden. I am talking about something more like carles Darwin saying its in the genes. Like how a sheep farmer acquires awesome herd through his inate ability to judge the Conformation of bones muscles and eyes hair etc. A Talent. Pick out the best sheep in the herd when dozens of dozens farmers couldnt. Visual talent. I think this Korean gentleman and myself share the roots , basic begginings of understanding if we have a talent for SEEING what these related artforms are eventhough we dont know the rules per say..Both being novices.

One day while I was colleting stones in a stream I asked permission from a homewoner to collect rocks in the stream running through his yard. I spot check always for permission every 6 or so houses to get an overal consenses of the friendliness of that stream. Too many people upset I'll choose another stream. Well He was very rude to me. And the only one to be so out of a dozen homes. he Said with an emphatic manner " No". I was very happy eventhough he was rude because I knew someone there collected rocks also. They werent as good as suiseki stones.Not in my opinion. " ( Brings up that question - "what is a Japanese Garden"? "What is a Suiseki Stone" ?) They were more of a Gaudier feel and seemed to be disordered , many rocks of different hardnesses soem soft others hard ,rough smooth .. and many looking like just any old rock. Admiring a chunk of pink rose quartz fratured in all faces into rough forms. Nothing noble or elegant such as the rivers curretns polishing this rock , forming it into a shape that represents something the human mind can conjur up in this infinate universe..Its just a chunk of pink rock . More like a rock you would collect for 6th grade science class or boy scouts project. To classify it as Quartz , Pink Quartz , Silicate, how its formed, Hardness and give it a number added to a Geology Homework assignment.

What was precise about the artfrom this person followed was its balence in stance. The stone was set in a position to bely its logical sense of how to balence something using common sense . It was precariously stood. Looked as if a Magician swirled his finger turning the rock into a dancefull poetic stance so aristocratic , elegant and full of confidence. tieing that magical prowess of finger spinning the rock into position standing there the unseen forces steady for all time. A rock that looked gaudy in color of refracted light , rough with fractured faces as if from a quarry but poetic in how it stood as if it was never meant to stand for more than a mere seceond. Delicate movements suspended in time . Kinetic energy. 40 pounds of solid material looking like a fleeting moment of a pink cherry blossom touching the ground the istant of contact ..time stopped to witness this exacting moment in time when a light delicate obect touches ground after dancing and twirling. Ballerinas toe. Theatre. How an actor or dancer becomes an inanimate object fluttering .So much so that one onlooking tears a silent applaud. Isnt this what can b elt while walking in a Japanese Garden ? to feel a moment..all those cliches of a pink cherry blossom falling.

This person was an artist of balence and form.

I knew exactly why he said NO !! haha. Those were his rocks in that stream and I was competition in the traditions of Asian artforms using such found object materials.

Well I went upstream a mile and worked for 10 hours that whole mile crwling examining each rock. I found 3 really average but very good suiseki stone forms. when I stood up stretching backpack full of practice stones I didnt know where I was really. I cut through some yards to the road and followed my way up stream . I passed a man sittign at the end of a driveway. It was the man who said NO HAHA . Oi Vey. I collected rocks through his property by accident becuiase I never looked up to see if I was in his backyard. Well to be honest I didnt really know where his backyard was. I had only knocked on the front door not knowing where his backyard went or what to expect. I even crwled under a bridge that had two asain objects nearby . I could see the tops of them only as I looked up on my crawling in cold water. I thought .Wow. Very sweet and encouraging to see such items. I smiled not connecting the dots I might be in his backyard haha. Not funny really. It is now tho : ) ::smiling ::

I stopped and asked the man who looked like a Grandfather waiting for a grandchilds school bus .I was nervous for he was adament no collecting rocks from his part of the stream half a day earlier. And wasnt talkative at the door . He said I could come over and talk. Was only 10 feet between the bench he sat on and the road I tread . I opened my backpack and one by one showed him the rocks. He knew Suiseki !! really good. I mean he explained proportions of traingles in nature..mountians..the diffeences of Chinese aspects and Japanese. He even complimented 2 stones as good ones. Next thing I know his wife I believe was there and a small boy. they came over probably becuase I was a stranger talking to this man all alone. I felt like it was that. The GRandfather spoke in Chinese to his wife and introduced me to the boy his Grandson . I was told the home was owned by His Chinese son whome married an American woman both whome are working and this is thier child . The GRanfather explaiend the rocks I found to the boy and the boy ran to the backyard coming back with his rocks he found and pointing to rocks his father found stood up dotting property here and there. I gave the child the rocks the GRandfather deemed as good ones . And without pause the boy handed me his recent best find and said for me to keep it. Everyone was smiling .The Schoolbus arrived dropping of the other grandchild and I knew our time was up. I offered the rest of my rocks to the grandfather . This was a great day. He said No , No. for me to keep them . They are nice...and I said No , no for him to keep them and let his son see what I found .His Son is the one who he wa protecting interests earlier when I aske permission to collect rocks. And He was so protective that when we first met at the door he wouldnt even tell me what style of rock collecting and denied any knowings of the artforms. Asked me to leave more or less and a good day.

I walked the mile I had hikes downstream up the rest of the road and aother half mile down another road to where I had parked that morning. I had nothing in my backpack.Sitting there in the truck eady to pull out of the parking lot . "Should I go home"? I thought to myself. Hmmm. there was one rock in the stream on another property . A boulder. 100 pounds. Deep in a ravine. Reminded me of ancient Indias cliff carvings of Buddha in recessed cave. Scenes of religion carved into tall oval alcoves. I figured one stone I should take home at least . Why not ask him if I can have it.

I drive intothe driveway of a cottage with a weedy unkempt property about an acre . I mean really neglected. House was too. And no one answered the knock on the door for a long time. I was bummed . I wouldnt take the stone without permission. Looking around I saw dozens upon dozens of Japanese Maples all over the perimeter of the yard. So many !! saplings ..old ones maybe 20 years planted. then the door opened. We talked. He liked plants trees and rocks like myself and I find he is sick with stomach cancer retired and weak. He looked sick old and weak. Also looked young. Perhaps 55 years old. Juxtapositions.

But his eyes became abright. He showed me rocks he found and trees he planted pointng to them as I walked over admiring. I was blunt and explained your rocks are about admiring color like purple shales in milky white quartz while mine was about seeing particular forms in such rocks like mountians or shapes of animals . He said," Really ? Hmmm show me" Quickly I found a ew examples and showed him what rocks felt Japanese of artfrom. I went to town teaching everything I knew.

He asked what I do for a living and I found myself a lil calm and didnt know how to say I was kinda well.. lingering. I garden some and help out familly as a laberor is what I told him. He said I could be really good at Japanese Gardens and if I persued this at all , if I have men working for my familly to to the work and if I could get soem jobs. I said No I dont really have that now. So he offered some clean up work on his property . Boy was it messy. I declinded but said some time at end of fall or winter perhaps I could help him..clean up front yard. We left it at that.

But what fun he had and I talking about our interests.Before I left I did share I was building a Japanese style garden for free for an organization. He then said could my Japaese Maples be used in that garden ? Would you like some ? Oh Boy !! I was undecided and the more quiet I was the more convincing he was and I leapt at the offer and said thanku ! Yes . For all of the materials I am using in the garden has a theme...found objects , nothing bought. recylcing old stones shrubs plants into a theme of local materials only ...within a region like towns or county.

This spring he is giving me many Japanese Maples. And I also was tald to take as many rocks as I like from the stream. I took 3 rocks . what hard work. Was down in a ravine very steep.

What is a Japanese Garden ?

Experiences and Memories . Those Maples if and when I get them into the list of other materials I'm saving to meld a Japanese garden together .. I want to make sure they represent Him . I 'll know how this will be when the materials come together one day and hopefully I meet him this spring . He also tok my adress that day and sent me a book on NY Rare Wildflowers . Typing this I think that will be his theme for the garden. Legaly using indigenous plants into the garden following the English sense of Arts and rafts movement of local materials only . Plants like Beech Drops or Indian Pipe , those translucent pearly white / pink monotropic flowers . They nod in a noble manner like that of M.C Eschers etching of Jetta , His wife holding a Narcissus..Daffodil flower. Love ? Bueaty ? Lil Sandness ? She looks so calm and composed holding that flower. the "perfect amount of cheer" I was told by a friend whome shared this MC Escher work with me. Beech Drops are solid white and planted ( They have a symbiotic relationship with soils bacteria ? that feeds off of rotting roots and supplies this wildflower with nitrogen ) Reminds me of this mans stomach cancer ...and his life experiences. He explained how he might die soon within a year .Its a tough thing to fight. He was blunt and didnt make me feel uncomfortable listenng. I was listening to a serious man talking . His generosity might stem from his fate and he saw his Japanese Maples being recycled into the Japanese style Garden I'm dreaming of as ftting to the care and love he has had for them. The Beech drops symbiotic relationship with death , decay and its nodding flower head that rises upwards after pollination I believe then becomes jet black of stem and flower. Monochromatic inkpaintings of Sung Dynasty that I love..Zen gardens ..I'll figure out that "aware" balence ...that blend of subtle undercurrents of lifes experience and the seasons that flow into the 4 seasons . And hopefully this gentleman will win his fight against cancer to see it. I'm so slow. Wont be makin gthis garden for some years to come. Its a mindscape - dreamscape for now. All in my mind.

What is a Japanese Garden ?

Method of recording ones life experiences and for the next person who works upon it and so forth untill that spot.that garden tells a story as long as the Illiad and times of Homer , Greece . Not many things stick around . Gardens come and go. So do buildings . Memories too.

I think Inkognitos Barren Canadian expanses . Zone 2 or 3 : ) ?

This is the conclusion. I could stereotype his region as being conducive to the minimalism of fruegal zen garden scapes . I could talk and talk about what I see in photos of books as befitting his regions easthetics much like Frank Lloyd Wright created homes to fit the region he worked .Prairie style etc. But what I think is a Japanese Garden is the experiences recorded into those materials and passing those memories on to someone as to why you planted that tree or stone . Maybe for the birth of a grandchild or son daughter..maybe in the passing of a loved one , maybe for the fact the object took on a form illustratively easily recognisable as a ship or bridge to explain a poem your paretns read to you as a child.. Its about memories , stories and life.

Not Titles and styles. Those some and go with fashion and fad .

Yes. Too many things to think about. Magic is ? If you love this artform..thinking doesnt become tiring ..becomes relaxing and is an endless way to have a passion - hobby .

My Italian grandfather sat there gazing upon his vegetable garden for hours in the morning or evening. I know for a fact there wasnt much in that garden as one would place as an artform such as an Edo Period Stroll Garden. But one thing I do believe ? both my GRandfather and his vegetable garden and that Aristocrat whome walked his Edo Period Stroll garden thought of memories and the future . Relaxed and both gardens became a tool to do so. Utilitiarian or for posteritys sake. That is the essence of What is a Garden to Me.

anything else is just another brick in the wall ::Singing Pink Floyd now ::
I think there are alot of gardens that are exactly
that..bricks in a wall..another number.. No story to tell.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 4:26PM
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Wonderful stuff and a great answer, thanks Ricky. I was only asking about you recently, on another forum I'm glad you are still around.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 4:52PM
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Some time ago I was reading about ferns of a Time Life book series .

When I came across the Maiden Hair Fern its description was more colorfull than the other ferns.There was added an ole Germanic Fairy tale about this ferns European counterpart . I love the American maidenhair ferns here on my deeply shaded rocky ravines.
The tale went something like this. A beautiful women , a maiden of long flowing silvery blonde hair . Her lover who turns into a wolf ( perhaps a jealous wolf ) and she runs from him through the deep forest . He chases after and she leaps from a precipice out into mid air falling falling falling down the cliff face her hair flowingly memorable .
What a lasting image , huh.
Where she fell upwelled a spring and around this spring grew the maidens hair fern.
How many fairy tales can we attribute to the naming of plants and trees or vice versa ?
The reason I ask this is perhaps as children we are lacking in this knowledge here in the New World for the past lets say 50 years or so. I can imagine 100 or 150 or 200 years ago enough people knew of the nymphs, fairies, pixies and associated plants lores myths legends . So that by telling a story using the gardens materials one diesnt need to plant for posterities sake dozens upon dozens of ornamentals thrown off the back of a truck ( in thier case a horse and wagon ) . Your limits are reached according to the fruegality of materials needed to convey the story you want to visually tell.In doing so the gardens take on more empty space and a love of objects and plants that fulfill your minds eye. Problem is doing this in such a tastefull manner as it fulfills the minds eye of people who dont know the meanings of the objects and plants. Who dont know the stories and poems or religious parables etc. Its for these people who dont have a clue what things mean that the garden may look too sparse , odd , incomplete .

With this knowledge of telling stories doesn't it change how one arranges their plantings when designing a garden ?

This is a good question to ask of ones self for when one thinks of "What is a Japanese Garden" I think its akin to a tragic end of oral traditions and literary sharings of plant names , allegories , metaphors and such . And a good example is to rephrase the question and try to comprehend Inkognitos Question like this , " What is the American Garden "

I'm sure if you delved into what is a Black Forest Germanic Garden ? you might find the plantings in such villages have some sense of the names of the plants having a story and the way the plants are arranged have some resemblance to an order due to their names. I sure don't know myself. I'm only immagining what might be . This is why I love Japanese Gardens of any in the world. I dont have to guess if there is a story there to be read. I KNOW there is one . Just a matter of reading it. That is why Edzerd and Yama San express themselves here over and over conveying the meanings of materials and how they are arranged so that we can have lots of fun reading gardens , enjoying them and sharing . Not about having noses raised up hight all snooty like the sterotype of some haughty professors . These gardens are treasures. Only if I could find a pirate who stuck some famous gardens with the best story lines into a treasure chest hidden on some pacific island !! Oh Joy : ) See ? Having an asortment of items such as unique rocks , carved rocks , story books paintings , recycled objects
Immagine a mother reading her child books about fairy tales and the author used the names of many plants as part of the story itself. And this child learned the names of such plants as Maiden hair fern. I could only assume by planting maiden hair ferns with this child his / her immagination would be expanded. Planting them at the mouth of an artesian well pipe , where the excess water exits . Or to plant them at the base of a stone wall having above spilling water over its edge down the wall into a small pool of water. The process of creating a garden according to a story line begins . For each chapter of such a book lets assume there is one naming of a plant and a story to its name. One chapter a week read . One plant a week arranged in a garden so the child can see the illustrations of the book now in reality .
To purchase such a book made of the finest materials for a child. The bindings , paper , all uniquely special. Perhaps expensive. But priceless in how a child feels the book as the story unfolds. To experience hands on learning planting and arranging those plants according to the names related to fairy tales. One such year during those informative years. One season even. That mind will learn of its own accord how to judge quality , fine materials , artistry . I think its these kids that become the picky adults who look for finer and finer , well crafted books furniture and garden materials . Like a head start on learning what is Wabi Sabi and realting that to New England Shaker churches and its well oiled polished clean lines of wood working.

What happens is the basis for learning "What is a Japanese Garden" unfolds intuitively.
No longer are Japanese Gardens confusingly complex mysteries. And no longer are those gardens now model making such as copying a Blockprint image modeling its landscape like a topographer models the lay of the land for a developer using papper a cad then clay on a table.

A one to one model of something in nature isnt what I consider part of answering " What is a Japanese Garden "

Hopefully the mind evolves from childhood to adulthood so that one understands abstract thoughts , surrealism, mindscapes , metaphors allegories , emotions feelings , understanding how just a pool of water a foot in size with a single Maidens hair fern adjacent and a tall 4 foot rock that has the qualities of a suiseki stone mimicking the perilous heights of a cliff . A few dwarf colorado spruces behind growing on a hilly mound of soil .
Then finding a plant that represents a name like Wolfs tongue haha. I dunno. But minimalism works .
what season did she leap from the cliff in the Fairy tale ? If early spring , planting snowdrop bulbs follwing the path she tread in fright and opening the Colorado spruce grove to demonstrate a path within the forest letting light down through what will form as a canopy , moss beneath. spring flowers growing along the path.
Thats it. Done.
A tall cliff style rock
A pool of water
Mound of soils planted with Half a dozen small drawf spruces
handfull of paper white minature flowering bulbs for the spring
A trio of Maidens hair fern

And a good book about The Maiden and her lover turning into a wolf chasing her off a cliff of a deep evergreen forest.
Is this an American Garden ?
Is this a Japanese Garden ?
Perhaps what is to be asked is is the styles of Japanese Gardens that I am talking about the Bardic traditions of Gardening. Story tellers who weave with glee anything you give them.
I loved when I read about the Golden Age of Hein Aristocratic Gardens where the placing of plants could be a jest , joke or even insult on your dinner guest . Hidden remarks by knowing the wordings of plants . HA fuuuuuuuuuuuny
Like this ?
Pesident No Name's portriat has been painted of him standing upon the lush green grass of his country home columbine flowers blooming before him. The presidents country estate gardener seeing this painting so admired the painters choice of flowers, planted a slew of columbine flowers before his master bedroom windows . The wife scratching her head at the odd choice and thier emcumbents invited over for dinner laughing having heard of why the painter chose Columbine flowers .
A Japanese Garden to me is taking everything in life you can and mixing it together . Only part that is needed to be followed is the formula, code of what each style , tradition era of gardens exhist. Edo period , Kare San Sui, Tsubo etc. They are the maps tools to help you choose how long of a story you want to tell acordin to the limited or freedom of space you own to design within.
I'd choose a Tsubo sized very small garden to explain the story of the Maiden Hair fern. Perfect for a novice like myself who doesnt build anything ..I just like to talk about them. However I dont like to study . So my thoughts are mostly gut instinct.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:30PM
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I dont proof read so I needed to re -word this paragraph
((((This is a good question to ask of ones self for when one thinks of "What is a Japanese Garden" I think its akin to a tragic end of oral traditions and literary sharings of plant names , allegories , metaphors and such . And a good example is to rephrase the question and try to comprehend Inkognitos Question like this , " What is the American Garden ")))

Revised :

This is a good question to ask of ones self for when one thinks of "What is a Japanese Garden" I think answering this question is difficult becuase we are experiencing a tragic end of oral traditions and literary sharings of plant names , allegories , metaphors and such . And a good example is to rephrase the question and try to comprehend Inkognitos Question like this , " What is the American Garden "

Ramblings : )

At the moment I think the American Garden is a hodge podge of ornamentals reflecting the basic ones used in cemetaries for the past 200 years ..hence the roots of american garden ornamentals in such places as cemetaries.. but instead of growing these plants around cemetary stones ? we did this around the exposed foundations of cinderblock and now poured concrete foundations. Add to this expensive pavers for walkways and driveways we match the cost of installing such luxeries with doubling tripling the samount of ornamentals used along the walkway to the front door then around the foundation.

Not much of a story told . More like common sense grabbing of plants out of a nursery , into the back of a truck..toss them out and arrange them crowded to match the pricey cost of the house , walkway and drive or pool.

If this is the mentality that I believe I grew up with and assume many other like myself grew up around also, then its probably what we are doing when trying to design build a Japanese Garden for ourselves. Hard to break old habits. I see alot of people trying to break these habits by building thier Japanese gardens in the backyard but the same sense of overcrowded plantings ensues and no other story told other than " This is a meandering river and there is a pond "

In order to break my old habits slowly over the past three years I have adopted a Japanese Related artfrom called Suiseki. through this I am understanding how to tell a story using rocks as a form of accounting but on a much smaller scale than Garden stones Bonsia might be another 3 years from now.

Learning Noh theatre might be when I am much older 15 years from now.

To build a Japanese Garden without learning these other related artform . I might as well purchase a coffe table book with big fancy photographs of famous gardens and try to copy them . Problem is those gardens are of temples and castles and well off business men or extremely well paid artists who build thier trophy garden. In trying to understand these extremely expensive gardens in context to my pocket I became discouraged quickly. So now I am learning other related artforms to attain an educated eye therefore selecting high quality materials cheaply over long period of time and assembling these telling a story on a smaller scale ...small space.

I'm not a copy cat at heart. Japanese Gardening is wonderfull becuase it enables those who wish not to copy others have the freedom to express the very Question asked here > " What is a Japanese Garden "

Its evolving . A Cornucopia of Japans ablity to adapt change barrow . Has many many periods , styles , eras .

What is a Japanese Garden ? Its a garden that reflects each individual persons desires . Place to be free from stagnation. Doesnt make us copy cats and if you are poor you can aquire materials from nature that rival those created by mans hand. And if you live in an urban setting you can use recycled metals irons , steels bars and old quarried stones from demolishion yards . Once again free materials for the poor person. Yet the story those materials may tell ? The potentiality to express your intelligence..your mind.. no matter how desolate , bleak and poor your surroundings may be. From Urban jungle in deterioration to Desert emtiness of Artic freezes or Sun baked terraines. .its limitless..and that garden can be fit for a King or Emperor. Made of mud , metal and concrete..its possible.

what is a Japanese Garden ?

you tell me What garden can do what a Japanese Garden can..to be so flexible as to fit in any zone , any climate , any terraine , any era . Japanese Gardens are the modern chameleons capable of adopting so much in this era of inter and intra cultural exchanges . A true Cornucopia .

This is my thought processes of the American - Japanese style garden.

Free thinking and accessible to all.

Last mental note : ) however this doesnt apply to anyone teaching others what is a Japanese Garden if they learned the traditions and rules , teachings from Japan while visiting or living there or meeting a Japanese Gardener abroad elsewhere. My sharring these writtings is an attempt to express "What Is A Japanese Garden " doing for me.

Ask not what a Japanese Garden is. Ask what a Japanese Garden does to help you.

Japanese Gardens help me as an individual. No other garden has helped me like so.

what is a garden ? nourishment for humanity.

we are all in the same boat.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 1:19PM
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A boat? Floating?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:33PM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi Ricky and inky
" What is garden? Nourishment for humanity " I agree.

Japanese garden is the place where you can enjoy your moment of life.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 10:03PM
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What yama said !

Good Day ...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 2:42PM
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harleysilo(7 Roswell,GA)

where are the pictures of the rocks?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:38AM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)

Ricky or Richard moved his "rambling" and wonderful photos to www.myjapanesegarden.org . You can find it there.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 8:30PM
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There seems to be little new questions on this forum....
Where can I find buyers for these large rocks/boulders?
Hi we are thinking to re-landscape our yard. The previous...
transplanting a JM seedling
We have a very large Japanese Maple on our property...
Kashima maple pruning
First off, I'm new to this forum so hello to everyone!...
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