Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A trip to the Japanese Garden

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to go on a guided tour of the Japanese garden in the Arboretum. It wasn't so much about what I tend to think of as gardening (soil, water, and light requirements), but more about the history Japanese gardens, the convergence of Shinto and Zen philosophies. Fascinating.

During the tour, we learned that the elements of a Japanese garden are supposed to teach you and remind you how to live your life. Here is what we found out about the elements and the qualities that they signify.

Bamboo: Long-lived, flexible, and hollow (an empty heart)
Rocks: Persistent
Pine: Evergreen (not fleeting) and patient
Japanese Maple: Graceful
Moss: Primitive, rootless (not too attached), and able to survive wherever the wind blows it.

These are the ways you need to live to live a long life.

My question: Which plant signifies a sense of humor?

Photos by Traci Tabordon. Thanks, Traci!


Peter said...

Wow. What terrific pictures. I have to go there and soon.

ka said...

Sense of humor? This is your plant--

It's a perennial called the "Sidalcea Party Girl."

The name makes me smile.

Joannie said...

Peter: It's good that Traci was there to take the pictures, as I am no shutterbug. Fall colors should be peaking in a couple of weeks, or so we were told.

KA: Thanks for the tip. I read the description--and in addition to being a party girl, it looks like Sidalcea has many good Japanese garden qualities (and so tall!).