Japanese gardens in Seattle

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by chuckrkc, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Actually Japanese Gardens would have to look Japanese as it is their art form. Because we all know that a stone lantern didn't just show up naturally on a mossy island. I think they just tamed what they have growing naturally in Japan. Stone, water, moss, pine, azaleas, and made an area pretty with function as they walked to their prayer temples. And they needed some type of lighting, so they used granite stone to hold whatever type of fire they had and Japan has an abundance of bamboo which came in very handy for all of their plumbing and building structure.

    Fish came about naturally as well, they grew carp for food and noticed mutations of gold and orange carp. Or they got their Koi from China.

    Although I think the gardens look very natural in Japan, since their mountain sides have all that greenery, maples, and lots of water.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I've never seen an authentic-looking Japanese garden or seen a picture of one that wasn't visibly stylized and therefore unnatural. It's their version of formal gardening. Using water, moss, stones and shrubs doesn't make it informal and naturalistic. European formal gardens employ natural elements also. It's how the components are used that determines naturalness. Even bonsai, which are supposed to replicate dwarf alpine trees etc. in the wild are usually still quite apparently trained and pruned in appearance.
     
  3. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    I guess I was saying that I haven't seen a natural Japanese garden either. Only a garden that has Japanese art form in it. Just as you say England has English Gardens, but they use natural elements in their gardens as most other gardens.

    And I'm glad to have tamed gardens. Because natural gardens get overgrown, weeds move in and take over and kill the plant that was pleasing. I only see natural gardens in forests, such as Yosemite, with its magnificent granite mountain and its gorgeous waterfall. Just as the Tetons in Wyoming are natural and look like they are placed just right.

    Small creeks with mossy stones and roots from trees are nice to look at as well, and provides inspiration for manmade replicas, since we all can't be at the creek at the same time. Oceans offer some awesome gardens as well, under the water and along the seashore. And they are ever changing as well. But then man has to intervene if it is going to wash away the shoreline, or driftwood becomes a big and hazardous problem.

    There are so many natural gardens in the world, but we all can't realistically see them all. Only through photos and replicas in peoples backyards, museums and parks.
     
  4. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    By "prim," I meant more meticulously manicured. The Kubota and Yao gardens have many things in common that point to a stylized version of a natural setting without seeming so artifically precise. Both seem very much in line with what I have seen called the American style of naturalistic settings.

    Perhaps the one, if it was in a house of rooms representing Japanese gardens, is a formal front parlor. Old Victorian homes had such rooms that were meant for greeting visitors back when everyone wore hats when they went out. Maybe the others are a less formal living room or a family room in a very nice house (except no toys strewn about).

    Of course, the forced perspective and abstract representation of "natural" settings is what Japanese gardening is all about, I think. I think they accentuate the serenity of nature, the majestic power of natural forces and man's dual role -- insignificant in comparison yet also the controlling force.
     
  5. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Has anyone visited the Portland Japanese Garden for a comparison? I was at the Portland JG last year - invited to display my maples. Portland is supposed to be a realistic version of a true garden in Japan. Very few of the maples were variegated or with red leaves - nearly all green. I asked why they were mostly green and why didn't have signs showing visitors the maple cultivar and the answer I got was a real garden in Japan would not have any signs and green is preferred. But it was a wonderful mix of textures and shapes with gurgling streams and large ponds. A Zen garden was just sand with three rocks -the sand was hand raked to perfection.

    I just got back from Seattle last night and unfortunately I did not have time to visit the Garden in this beautiful city. Thanks for all the great photos. Sam
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you to "jetoney" for the Japanese maples photos from Butchart. I think the debate over Japanese gardens is interesting, and they must comprise many different types of gardens. Apparently there are wild ones, perhaps more parks than gardens, as mentioned in one or two of these books. The two books by George Schenk were recommended by the gardeners here at UBC: I have purchased their recommendations: Moss Gardening; Including Lichens, Liverworts, and Other Miniatures and Gardening on Pavememt, Tables, and Hard Surfaces both by Schenk -- his writing is marvellously quirky and personalized and he refers to the wild quite a lot. Someone contributing to one of the forums here recommended Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Janapese Way by Jake Hobson, and this is a lovely book too and refers to wilder scenes and less formal ways of pruning trees. The latter author recommends leaving some alone, especially the cherries. There is something eternally fascinating in this garden style.
     
  7. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    I"ve been to the Portland Japanese Garden. I have some great pictures as well. Their Koi weren't looking too well, but a local Watergarden and Koi club came to help heal these Koi. I think I read that in a Koi magazine or somewhere else. This visit was in 2001 or 2002.
     

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