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Latest Articles - Luxury

How To Wear A Wrist Watch Properly – The Lesson of Style

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Japanese Garden Designs

Sunday, 19 October 2008

japanese garden designsJapanese gardens are a unique and extraordinarily beautiful phenomenon. Reproducing the natural scenery on relatively small sites by miniaturization of their proportions, gardens create a captivating atmosphere of contemplation and serenity. Bonsai trees, whimsically crooked against the backdrop of tiny rocks, delicate bridges, like soaring in the air - are precisely the features that make the romantic and mystique of all Japanese gardens. 

And the curves of the artificially grown tree branches and ornate garden paths, as hieroglyphs from the ancient manuscripts, ingeniously tell their visitors the story revealing the idea behind the creation of the wonderful garden.

An important feature of the Japanese park is that by the use of evergreen plants, the park always looks attractive, allowing its visitors to enjoy the scene throughout the year. Mountainous landscape with many waterfalls and streams often becomes a favorite subject for such a garden. In a sense it recreates the natural landscape in miniature, where a dwarf umbrella pine is the most favorite tree. It is usually placed among stones brought from distant mountains, mossy in various shades and shapes. Thus, with the help of these simple at a first glance compositions, an extraordinary diversity is created in the park.

A few stones in the Japanese garden, a handful of sand or a rock fragment from the sea coast often symbolize the greatness of nature, as stones in the Japanese philosophy are traditionally considered the top of creation. And some lake, pond, stream or waterfall is introduced to bring the garden to a natural landscape. Many ancient parks of Japan, which are a place of pilgrimage for numerous tourists as well as indigenous population, for many centuries remained the masterpieces and models of Japanese landscape design. These gardens provide a source of inspiration for the modern landscape designers and amaze its visitors with their original structure and composition.

The designer plans are implemented in the ancient gardens in a very interesting way. For example, if the pond was meant for boating, then the arched bridges were created over the pond, sometimes even in the Chinese style, with a small tower. Natural bridges were constructed in the manner that small wooden or stone decks were thrown across the streams. Or just a large flat rock, very similar to the real boulder, was placed. And in order to increase the length of the route on a very small garden area, zigzag decks were built over the water. In such a way, in the famous Heiyan Jingu Shrine garden a trail of round stone piles was laid through the scenic haven, to maximize the park promenade area. Waterfalls, where the stones location and the sound of falling water harmonize with the landscape, were and are a very important part of the landscape garden.

The cave or waterfall in the garden is often associated with the legend of a dragon, who lives nearby, and whose sculpture might decorate the garden. In landscape gardens it was customary to reproduce the individual and unique flavor and microclimate of the area where they are located. The wonderful garden of mosses in the Sayhodzi temple located in the lowlands, with lengthy moss and surrounded by giant bamboo thickets, is an example. The wall of its ten-meter shoots not only absorbs sunlight, and makes the twilight, but also gives the garden a special mystique that is unique only to this place. But the Japanese garden can be without water as well. Such a park is also known as dry landscape. In it the stones, pebbles and gravel simulate water, inspiring the imagination of its visitors. Boulders at this dry reservoir depict the islands and smaller stones - coastline. Moss around the same large pieces of rocks symbolically represents the tidal line.

The Fifteen Stones garden at the Rlandzi temple in Kyoto is one of the most famous flat gardens in Japan, where all the principles of dry landscape artistry are most vividly expressed. From the temple terrace one can see the mossy group of stones, arranged in a level gravel field, symbolizing the smooth surface of water. People say, that the central group of stones represents the family of a tiger, swimming across the sea. Though to an inexperienced in the Japanese philosophy visitor these boulders would resemble the mountainous islands in the tide of a vast ocean. Only fourteen stones are clearly visible at the same time. But, according to an ancient legend, only a man of enlightened consciousness can see all the fifteen stones at once.

Flat Japanese gardens are usually decorated with stone bridges, sculptures of amazing animals or gods. And curved or clipped low trees and shrubs increase the symbolic resonance of the stony gardens' miniature world. Another type of Japanese garden is a tea house garden, which is exquisitely ornamental and elegant and serves as an attribute to the tea ceremony. The garden of this type usually consists of two parts, where its external part prepares the people that come towards the tea house for a tea ceremony, the philosophical meaning of which lies in understanding and experiencing beauty. Here, all the looks are attracted to the path decoration, which is one of the key design elements of the external garden. The path is laid with intricate mosaic stones. This sets the rhythm of walking through the garden to the pool, decorated with two boulders, a lantern and a bowl of hot water. All of these items make harmony with the landscape and their simple shape stresses the beauty of the surrounding world. From the tea house terrace the second part of the tea landscape opens - the internal garden which usually combines the elements of mountainous garden and dry landscape. The dominant shades of green, smooth shapes of objects are deliberately simple and designed to appease the soul and attune the mind to a philosophical mood. The world of Japanese gardens is very subtle and contradictory. Here, the rules are elevated to laws, to be refuted then by other dogmas. For the Japanese philosophy teaches us that one can never blindly and thoughtlessly follow the established models. Everything in the world must be original and unique.

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