Japanese Gardening: A History

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There are many different forms of gardening, and as gardening becomes an increasingly popular hobby, people are getting interested in variations of gardening styles. Just like any other form of gardening, Japanese gardening too requires the proper knowledge and materials.

From granite to bamboo, metal to books, there are many stores and companies today offering a wide selection of materials for Japanese gardening. Garden design is considered to be an important Japanese art, and has been for many centuries.

What is Japanese Gardening?

Japanese gardens can be found anywhere from Buddhist temples to private homes and most of these are rock gardens. The typical Japanese garden contains the following: water, an island, a bridge to the island, a lantern, and a teahouse or pavilion.

The use of stones, water, and plantings are all of great importance in Japanese gardening, and the focus is for them to be designed to be tranquil sanctuaries that allow individuals to relax and escape from the stresses and pressure of their everyday life. The stones are used to place an enduring quality on the garden, while the water symbolizes purity and the plantings being the third element of Japanese gardening.

What Materials are used in Japanese Gardening?

In regards to granite, these lanterns were originally introduced thousands of years ago in China, and although they were first used to light doorways, they later became used in Japanese gardens. These lanterns can be classified into four separate categories: tachi-gata (pedestal lanterns), ikekomi-gata (buried lanterns), oki-gata (small, set lanterns), and yukimi-gata (snow-viewing lanterns).

Statues are another form of granite, which are also used largely in Japanese gardening. Bridges, paths, and stepping stones are also available and important in Japanese gardening.

One of the most essential structures in Japanese gardening is that of the bamboo fence. It is known for its elegance, beauty and flexibility, and there is absolutely no other material that comes even close to matching bamboo for the Japanese garden. Items such as copper chains, copper rings, hoppers, ABS chains, Poly chains, and bamboo screens are also considered as more minor essentials, and add a certain needed dimension to the garden itself.

There are many noteworthy Japanese gardens, even in the United States, and these include: Hakone Gardens (Saratoga, California), Japanese Tea Garden (San Francisco, California), Japanese Friendship Garden (Phoenix, Arizona), San Antonio Japanese Tea Gardens (San Antonio, Texas), and the Seattle Japanese Garden (Seattle, Washington).




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