Japanese gardening is one great tradition that has surpassed the test of time. It is a form of gardening that incorporates natural elements and recreates scenery as close to nature as possible. This is done with the help of ponds, sand, rocks, trees, artificial hills, shrubs, and moving water.
There are three simple ways to produce scenery in Japanese gardening. The first method is known as reduced scale. This is the form of copying a real scene, such as that from nature, trees, mountains, etc., and making it smaller to fit the space for the garden. The next method is symbolization. This incorporates both abstraction and generalization. For example, you can take white sand to symbolize a big ocean. Finally, the method known as “borrowed views” is when a forest or an ocean becomes a big part of the created scene.
Japanese gardening has two basic types: tsukiyami and hiraniwa. Tsukiyami is when you have a garden that primarily has hills as well as ponds. Hiraniwa is the opposite of tsukiyami and is also known as “flat garden”.
The main things that you will see in a Japanese garden are moss, hedges, fences, stones, water, gravel, and rocks. Rocks are often the centerpiece and they add a spiritual feel to the scene. The Shinto tradition says that rocks are the symbol for nature’s spirits.
Gravel is a surface that defines and imitates the movement of water when they are arranged in the right way. Stones are the boundaries and these are often used to mimic lanterns. Water can be present in any form; it can be a waterfall, a pond, or a stream. This is a central part of Japanese gardens. You can use real water or mimic it through gravel. It keeps the balance in a garden.
There are certain plants that you will almost always find in Japanese gardening. The primary one is Bonsai. This is the art of trimming plants like Cedar, Holly, Pine, Maple, Cherry, and others to make them look as if they are huge trees that were miniaturized. They can be between 5cm to 1m in size.
The Shinto and Zen traditions form a huge part of Japanese gardening which result to an atmosphere that calms the spirit and brings the soul to a level of reflection. Although it is very Asian, some of its components are now found in the Western world because of the way it can help people meditate and find comfort for their souls.
These are the basics of Japanese Gardening. Thanks for your time.