Japanese gardening

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I've been lurking for a bit now. This is a very informative newsgroup. I have a question that I hope can be answered. What is it that makes a "Japanese Garden" a true Japanese garden? There seems to be many interpretations out there. Any sites to recommend me to with pics? Thanks everyone. Michael
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A true Japanese garden is one tended to by a Japanese gardener!!!!
Anything else is just an occidental looking for a place to happen.

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:) cute ... however In my opinion there is no reason that the qualities of a Japanese garden cannot be applied to any garden. Simplicity, white space as important as foreground, etc. There are a great many books on the topic and many sites.
http://www.jgarden.org / http://www.ifa.de/garden-japan-2000/einsel.htm http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2099.html

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waaaaay less is better. putting all the typical elements of a Japanese garden into a small space is grotesque. it takes courage to pick a single element and let the rest go. somebody on rec.ponds posted the cutest darn Japanese garden shed. Ingrid

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Not to mention waaaaaay cheaper. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!!!!
Any fool can take white gravel, a rock, a dead twig and a lantern and call it a Japanese garden.......
But does that really make it one?
I don't think so.
wrote:

of a

as
and
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How Zen that is!!!

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Ha ha... If that were true, then vegetable gardens would be tended to by a vegetable gardener. :)
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We won't even go and suggest what type of gardener grows fruit or nuts!!!

a
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Or prickly plants.
Janet
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<< Ha ha... If that were true, then vegetable gardens would be tended to by a vegetable gardener. :)
>><BR><BR> I picture a longish, languid eggplant with short arms and legs and a long rake. It spends at least 50% of the time in the garden hammock. zemedelec
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Hi all... I'm a lurker too...
...been reading up on bamboo lately and ran across an interesting passage on "Gardens in China and Japan" (as relating to bamboo :)...
quote
"Bamboo plays an important role in Chinese and Japanese gardens. To understand this, one needs to appreciate the significance of gardens and garden art in these countries. Garden design is considered an art form similar to landscape painting, and is carried out according to a comparable set of rules. (There are Fundamental differences between Chinese and Japanese garden art, but it would take us too far to go into these here. The reader should investigate the extensive literature.) In Asia there has always been a particular fear of wild, untamed nature, yet simultaneously a strong love for it and a feeling of unity with it. Nature and humanity are seen as indivisible. Gardens should reflect nature, but also provide people with the chance to immerse themselves in nature through meditation. A garden is therefore strongly symbolic. Chinese gardens are works of art in which landscapes are set up, not to imitate nature, but to simplify it and render it more profound, as in painting. A Chinese or Japanese, garden is scarcely comparable with a European garden, because it is based upon a different set of assumptions. Chinese and Japanese gardens create a landscape that stimulates the imagination rather than the understanding. One sees over and over the juxtaposition of Yang and Yin, the masculine and feminine, hard and soft; for example rock and water, bamboo and chrysanthemum, straight and curved lines.
"In 1634 Yuan Jeh wrote this about gardens; 'A single mountain can have many effects, a small stone can awaken many feelings. The shadows of dry banana leaves draw themselves wonderfully upon the paper of the window. The roots of the pine-tree force themselves through the cracks of the stone. If you can find peace here in the middle of the city why should you wish to leave this place and seek another?...' All things in Chinese gardens - and in still more refined and abstract form in Japanese gardens - have symbolic value and are aids to meditation. Water is always present, standing for human life and philosophical thought. There are no lawns, but gravel beds instead. Rocks symbolize mountains. They are often raised up high and particular value is laid on bizarre and steep formations. They represent, in contrast to water, the might of nature. Flowers are never planted in groups or patterns but stand isolated, to aid meditation. The chrysanthemum, which flowers late and is frost-tolerant, symbolizes culture and retirement, the water lily is the sign of purity and truth. Bamboo stands for suppleness and power, true friendship and vigorous age. The evergreen foliage of bamboo also provides a background for plum blossom and makes an artistic picture together with pine. In Asian gardens bamboo is usually thinned so that individual [snip]"
endquote [Bamboos, 1992, Recht / Wetterwald, ISBN 0-88192-268-4]
I particularly like the "why should you wish to leave this place and seek another?..." part!
cheers
Mark Tutty Gisborne NZ

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radically different I would say. Japanese gardens are for really small tight spaces, are very tightly landscaped and groomed constantly. I find Chinese landscaping to be much more "wild", loose, free style than Japanese. Ingrid
. (There are Fundamental differences between Chinese and

Chinese and Japanese gardens create a landscape that

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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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Not to mention the larger gardens of nunneries and other religious sites... I think too often westerners (if I may paint with broad sweeps and generalizations) perceive the quintessential Japanese garden as either a tiny tsuboniwa (courtyard garden, a small to medium sized squarish open space that is an architectural element of 99% of all traditional Japanese homes) or an austere dry raked bed of gravel with a few boulders here or there.
Dave
- Tallahassee, FL - Only where

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One glaring characteristic:
Japanese gardens lack formal flower beds or borders. They are completely alien to Japanese gardens.
Dave

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Except, of course, the sculpted, (usually) round, small-leafed Satsuki or Kurume azaleas that frequently border the paths in larger Japanese gardens, as in the Ninomaru Garden at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and the less-manicured azaleas on the small islands in the Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens in Minato-ku, Tokyo (and others). Smaller, more intimate gardens -- like tea gardens -- may only have a single, carefully clipped azalea as a highlight -- or none.
Jim Lewis - snipped-for-privacy@nettally.com - Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears. .

What is it

seems to

to with

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Very true, Jim, however I wasn't referring to compositional elements that define a space, I was talking about the 'mulched bed' juxtaposed with the turf or other strolling area...
Dave

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Japanese gardens in Japan look like what God could do if he had a good editor. zemedelec
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You might want to check out the Japanese Garden forum on the GardenWeb. It is a very active forum and frequently involves a lot of philosophical musings as to what consititutes a Japanese Garden, specially with respect to western gardens and gardeners. Lots of great photos posted, as well.
pam - gardengal
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Michael Palmer) wrote in message

If you take a Japanese gardener for a drive in the northeast US he will be awestruck by the rock outcrops that occur where highway cuts have been made. Once these have been left alone for a while and get a few layers of ferns and laurel they look just right. Trying to create one in a garden is another matter.
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