The focal point in many gardens is a pine tree - often a former bonsai. The branches are artificially twisted and shaped in search of “yugen”.
Toji-in is my favourite (so far). It takes the form of a “chaniwa” around a teahouse. This is the view from the raised platform outside the house. This is where I learned how to prune azaleas and camellias. This garden reinforces the importance of privacy to the Japanese. E.g. In a restaurant the best table is not the one where everyone can see you, on a platform or at the window. Rather it is the one in a back room with its own window on a small courtyard or garden. This garden is the classic “inside” garden. It is immaculately kept. Any area in Japan, which is regarded as being “inside” will be treated in the same way. This applies to even the grounds of factories and forms one of the major characteristics of Japanese landscapes. (See the urban development powerpoint on CD3.)
Some of the best gardens in Kyoto are closed to the public. This iris bed can be viewed through a gap in the hedge.
When the irises are in bloom, photographers literally fight to get pole position in the gap - an unusual occurrence in Japan.
This is special though. Very special. Even the kids get this one.
“ Tsuboniwa” are small domestic courtyard gardens…. or whatever space is available.
… and if you don’t have a garden then you can always keep potted plants in the street.
Crafts Zen Garden Project
Click on Zen Gardens Above to View You Tube Video
Japanese gardens are a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever changing with the seasons.
Unlike other traditional gardens, there is no water present in Karesansui gardens. There is gravel or sand, raked or not raked, that symbolizes sea, ocean, rivers or lakes.
The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water has an aesthetic function.
The underlying structure of a Japanese garden is determined by the architecture; that is, the framework of enduring elements such as buildings, verandas and terraces, paths, tsukiyama (artificial hills), and stone compositions.
Zen priests practice raking to help them focus their concentration. Achieving perfection of lines is not easy. Raking is done according to the patterns and ridges that are desired and limited to some of the stone objects situated within the gravel area.
Stone arrangements and other miniature elements are used to represent mountains and natural water elements and scenes, islands, rivers and waterfalls.
A Japanese garden is never the same and never really finished.
<ul><li>For your Zen Garden assignment, </li></ul><ul><li>you will need to do the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a box for your sand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make your sculptural piece of a living subject like a Netsuke. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a structural building like a Pagoda. </li></ul></ul>
Japanese Netsuke Sculptures (nets'keh ) Small carving usually of wood or ivory serving as a toggle. It would hold together the sash of the kimono.
Pagodas are temples or a place of worship and stand for tiered tower.