The Japanese garden is probably the most intriguing aspect of the Japanese culture and life. On the one hand, the Japanese garden is simple in design; on the other hand, it is almost a unique creation. The Japanese garden is an idealized conception of the nature, bringing together its best points and accompanied by an artistic feeling of a garden creator. The mastery of the Japanese garden design is appreciated in the whole world and its best designers are constantly invited to create Japanese gardens outside Japan.
There is a variety of Japanese gardens, including Japanese rock gardens, water gardens, tea gardens and Zen gardens, while each Japanese garden is an exclusive statement, inimitable by the others in detail, but having some common features in general. Japanese garden items deliver many symbolic ideas, notions and are meant to evoke an image or an idea, hidden in a tree, shrub or even in a stone.
For instance, tufted moss creates a cascade of texture and visual enlightenment. Japanese stone lanterns add some mystique, tradition and spirituality, while Japanese stone lanterns (tachi-gata - pedestal stone lanterns), accompanied with crimson colors of the changing Japanese maple tree, provides a visual focal delight and builds awareness of the passage of time.
Sand, rock and stone Zen gardens present a place for a quiet reflection and contemplation. Iris edged yatsuhashi (eight fold Japanese bridge) guarantee that time is taken to enjoy the smallest details in life that are so easily and quickly overlooked in our fast paced world. In fact, to feel a complete essence of the Japanese garden, you should comprehend each idea delivered to you.
Commonly, the number of plants in the Japanese garden is very limited. The garden can consist of only ten different plants or various plant species. Traditional plants of the Japanese garden are evergreen plants that create all-the-year-round beauty. Flowering trees and shrubs are employed in the Japanese gardens too. Particularly, you can see Japanese cherry in nearly every garden in Japan. The limited number of plants does not decrease the beauty of the Japanese garden; on the contrary, it produces a natural aesthetic composition of unification and harmony. Actually, the uniqueness of the Japanese garden does not lie in the selection of plants, but in the ways of their growth and application. Thus, gardening and pruning are the most important aspects of the Japanese garden design.
An ultimate goal of Japanese garden creators is to capture natural patterns and to bring them to their gardens as they exist in the nature. They create gardens that evoke natural patterns, such as mountain streams, deep forests or seaside beaches. It is no wonder that some Japanese gardens will exhibit you a famous waterfall from the other corner of the planet. Furthermore, it is a wonder how they manage to examine so complicated essential qualities of the natural landscape and then inherit them into their own garden patterns. Perhaps in order to catch the essence of the Japanese garden, we should not only learn to understand it, but we should also learn that interacting with the nature enriches our lives.