Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Gardens are very popular in Japan, and exquisitely maintained. The gardens in the grounds of temples are usually exemplary, but private gardens also abound. Japanese gardeners seem to have an overwhelming fetish for orderliness and neatness, and the beauty of their gardens is testament to the time they spend tending to them.
I know I've rattled on before about the beauty of nature and the attraction that flowers hold for me. I am not a gardener, I guess that's mainly because I have failed every patience test known to man. Well, that's not true - I can wait out a five day cricket match with the best of them - but standing in queues, waiting at traffic lights, gardening? Forget about it!
But I do recognise the result of industry and imagination when I see it, and this Japanese island garden, complete with miniature temple, was breathtaking when I came upon it in Kyoto. The water contained a fair bit of tannin from the trees in the gardens, and that enhanced the reflections so that it was like looking into a mirror. Japanese gardens seem to be places where one can relax and meditate in all the glory and beauty of nature; as well as admire the patience and skill of the gardeners.