Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Asian Garden

Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Chinese Garden, Asian Garden
Three years ago I had this little patch of ground hidden away in the back of the property and decided to turn it into my own Asian garden.  With few financial resources to use on this project and even less skill or knowledge about landscaping the stylized Asian look, I was on a real mission and a real challenge.
Fortunately I was physically able to do the hard work like dig out what remaining grass was growing, build a couple of berms, and slope the area to achieve a pleasing vertical and horizontal perspective.  I searched through the used book store and found many books on Japanese garden design and did a lot of research on the web.  I kept my eye out at nurseries and garden centers for plant materials (on sale) that would fit into my design, lugged them into the backyard, dug, amended soil, and re-dug and amended soil until I placed them were I thought they should be to achieve the Asian look.
Although I was pleased with the initial results, I quickly realized that it would take several years of a dedicated maintenance regime for the garden to look like a beautiful Asian garden. Since that time I have worked and watched the garden mature, from the moss floor spreading out into a full green carpet, to the ferns, azaleas, pines, and  bamboo filling out.

The garden isn't truly emblematic of the basic structure and philosophy that a traditional Asian garden requires, but I think I did accomplish the desired result which imparts a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and the feeling of being a part of nature.  And although the garden, as with all gardens, will continue to grow and be amended again and again, I’m happy with it as it is now. Most importantly, the garden reminds me that it’s the journey not the destination that teaches and inspires.

If you are interested in learning more about the Asian style of garden design or just visiting an authentic Asian garden, there are two internationally acclaimed gardens in Portland.  Both of these gardens have informed, inspired and delighted me, and they are well worth the trip and the admission fee.  
The Portland Japanese Garden is thought to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and is truly a haven of tranquil beauty.  

On Monday, November 12, you can visit the garden free of admission.  For more information follow link above to their website.  This Saturday, October 27,  from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm the Friends of the Garden will have their annual Maple Plant Sale.  More information about this event is also on their website.

Also, offering a glimpse of Chinese culture, beauty, and harmony is the Lan Su Chinese Garden located near Chinatown in downtown Portland. Inside the garden is an authentic teahouse such as can be found during the Ming Dynasty. Light meals and snacks are offered along with numerous varieties of tea to suit every mood and season. Live performances range from Chinese er-hu music to song and poetry.

Life is good - bye for now.  Evelyn

1 comment:

Katy said...

The secret to having a breathtaking garden is patience and dedication. When you love what you’re doing, you’ll surely be able to make it what you wanted it to be. Having a garden is not just all about planting and growing plants and flowers, it’s also about hard work.

-Katy Eagles