Thursday, December 30, 2010

Japanese Inspiration

Summer has finally come to us and today reached 35 degrees. Since it is too hot to actually garden and I am still recovering from Christmas I decided to drag my husband to the Himeji Japanese garden in Adelaide City. This has been on my wish list for more than twelve months and it was well worth the wait. I have really come to treasure these times when nature prevents me from physically working in the garden. It is a great time to rest, research, reenergise, gain perspective, find inspiration and even pat ourselves on the back or just enjoy the garden for itself. So off to the Japanese gardens for inspiration I went.

The Himeji gardens are tucked away from the hussle and bussle of the city on South Tce. As you enter the temple like gatehouse you are struck by a sense of peace, calm and tranquility. We weaved our way along paths, past lanterns, deer scarers, a tea house, sea of sand and a stunning lake. I decided I must come back one day, stay for a really long time and really soak up the garden. I was excited to see that many of the same plants and elements were already present in my own mini Japanese garden.

I am now determined to include water of some kind and maybe one or two fish (Himeji had hundreds of massive goldfish). Maybe I will move my zen water feature to the garden and perhaps a conifer or two- maybe not as well shaped as theirs. I certainly have a clear vision and understanding of the feeling I want to create in my garden. I wish I lived around the corner from Himeji garden. I would be going to meditate every day but I suppose the next best thing is to keep trying to create a little piece of this in my own garden.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planning the journey.

Well I am taking the plunge and I am sure I will need lots of help and feedback. With the encouragement of my positive and lovely neighbour J. I have decided to begin my blog around the theme of my garden. My garden which is now 12 years young gives me so much joy and peace and at times even more angst and frustration. So many times I find that it echoes life and it is the place where I can think, pray and work out my daily anxieties in physical and mental effort.

The idea began to form as I mentally listed all the jobs I wanted and needed to do in the various parts of the garden. I keep planning to get a big whiteboard and write down all these ideas on the board- but its a chicken and egg thing! These days thoughts, ideas and 'to do' lists escape very quickly unless captured in writing. I realised it would be so much easier if the areas of my garden had proper names. A,B,C and 1,2,3 just didn't cut it- they actually have more personality than that. My most satisfying, complete and smallest garden room was the "Japanese Garden" and that was the starting point. Right now I don't want and can't go to the world. The next best thing will be to bring the world directly to me, my family & friends.

We have a beautiful and fairly flat block in the Adelaide Hills of around 1600m2 and over the years I have delibrately divided the back area into 'rooms'. This has made it more manageable, helped to moderate my eclecticly challenged brain and to reveal the garden to visitors in a more gradual and (hopefully) surpising way.

So the challenge now is to refine this idea and to go 'Around the garden in 12 months'. Each month I plan to have one area as a major focus as well as the usual maintaining of everything else on track in other areas of the garden. I already have the beginnings of Japan, Italy (mediterranean), France, Australia (the bush), Greece (the swimming pool), England and Mexico. I will start with Japan in January and the rest can be an unfolding backpacking journey.

I am off to take some photos, research, get inspiration and further define the other areas yet to be christened as a country.
Happy travels