Vancouver: article and Japanese gardens tour

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by wcutler, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Steve Whysall's In the Garden article on Friday, July 31, 2015 is entitled "Serenely Japanese in Vancouver", for a while can be found here:
    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Garden+Serenely+Japanese+Vancouver/11254939/story.html.

    Writing about the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association, he writes:
    [Edited] Oops - now that I've gone to the website, I see that the registration deadline was two days before the article appeared. Well, the article was interesting. I've emailed to see if they are still taking registrations.
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Naoko emailed me a reply:
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are just a few photos from the tour. It was well-organized, seven gardens in Vancouver, British Properties, Steveston, North Delta and South Surrey. They decided to put on a second bus, so there were 100 people, but the buses arrived separately at each location, so only 50 people at a time were at any one place. Each location was represented by the landscaper, who either was on the bus before arriving or after the visit to his location. I ran into one of our best Cherry Scouts and also someone I had not seen in 20 years.

    I should say that this did not seem to be particularly "Japanese Gardens", but rather gardens designed or landscaped by members of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association (VJGA). Three of the gardens were large and expensive; the one in British Properties was expensive but not much property, one was a small Japanese cemetery, one was a small city lot and one was a townhouse.

    This garden is in Shaughnessy, an old toney neighbourhood of Vancouver. This property had two putting greens in the back yard and made extensive use of artificial turf.
    HudsonStGarden_Waterfall_Cutler_20150816_101053.jpg HudsonStGarden_Topiary_Cutler_20150816_101707.jpg

    This townhouse in Steveston wasn't even on a street - it was in a row of houses between the houses facing the Fraser River and the ones on the street and it had a teeny but interesting garden. People liked it a lot.
    PrincessLane-Richmond_SmallGarden_Cutler_20150816_125825.jpg PrincessLane-Richmond_SmallGarden_Cutler_20150816_130155.jpg

    This North Delta garden was designed by Ron Rule; the plans were executed by the VJGA landscaper four years ago. The landscaper described it as high-maintenance but the owner didn't feel that was the case. She said the pruning is only done twice a year.
    CabelduCr-NDelta_Pathway_Cutler_20150816_135924.jpg ThujaOccidentalisSmaragd_CabelduCr-NDelta_Cutler_20150816_142254.jpg CabelduCr-NDelta_FrontPath_Cutler_20150816_142346.jpg
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Where is the serenity? The first two are too busy to have much to do with conventional Japanese gardening and the second one is on the one hand too static (clipped arborvitaes) and on the other too active (fern and grass plantings) to fit the bill also.

    The ratty arborvitaes on the left of the one picture are an excellent illustration of why you never want to install formal plantings in any but situations where the accompanying architecture demands it - as soon as any plants in the grouping fail to maintain a size or shape that matches the rest of the planting the entire effect is lost.
     
  5. Anne Eng

    Anne Eng Active Member

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    In the Steve Whysall article, it sounds like the professional gardeners of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association (VJGA) want to push the boundaries and create "a new form of Japanese garden, one with a uniquely West-Coast flavour."

    You can see in the first photo from the West Vancouver garden, the traditional use of rocks and restrained floral colours in the azalea bush planted with a Japanese red maple. However the rockery is on a huge scale in keeping with the mountainside location.

    The gardener created a less traditional waterfall in the form of a two-dimensional fountain built into the supporting wall of the driveway (second photo), accompanied by another Japanese red maple.

    The more traditional scene of subdued green, rock, waterfall, stream and pond can be seen at the Hudson street garden (third photo). However, because there was obviously a keen golfer on this site, the serenity of the scene is somewhat belied by the artificial turf and miniature putting greens to one side of the stream.

    With relief we approached the little church, that despite the cross at one end (4th photo), looked very Japanese, the clean lines of its surrounding tile-topped walls and hidden garden reminiscent of Nomura samurai house and garden in Kanazawa, Japan (5th photo).

    The VJGA's smallest garden in Steveston was the most appealing, because it was basically a Japanese garden for your fenced-off back yard. There was barely room for pond, plants and a one-way stepping stones pathway. You can see the koi in the pond at the right (last, 6th photo). The VJGA gardener used plants with a lot more colour and flower to complement the house, which was painted goldenrod yellow. So even the best designs must move with the times and the tastes.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  6. Gollum

    Gollum New Member

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    So beautiful,perfect!
     

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