Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Walk Through The Japanese Garden

Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated our anniversary by going to the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. It was the perfect morning for it; clouds after a morning shower that made it both cool for walking and the right amount of overcast skies for taking photos.

This garden was built on an old gravel pit, so there is a wonderful depth to the winding paths and ponds. Because it is built on a pit, there are ponds and dry stream beds like the one below to direct the water from the occasional heavy rains.





When they began building the garden, they used everything that had been left in the gravel pit, and it looks like a lot of the boulders are actually repurposed concrete pavement, turned upside down.



Within the Japanese Garden are smaller gardens. Below is the Suzuki Garden with contrasting stone surfaces.



Next to it is the Karesansui, or Dry Landscape Garden, with its famous raked sand.



Throughout the Japanese Garden are winding paths and stairs built of many different materials to encourage slow, peaceful walks and meditation. I love how every view is seen through a leafy frame.







There are four main interconnected ponds, divided by bridges, stepping stones, and islands. They are filled with koi that swim near the bank when anyone approaches, waiting for a handful of fish food to be thrown their way. When someone throws in some food, the water churns with wall to wall koi and the sound of their smacking mouths momentarily drowns out the peaceful waterfall.



I love this bridge, with beautiful views from both sides.


 
 




The paths wind down so gently that we never felt the slope. One time the walkway seemed to be in the tops of the trees, and a view over the edge showed that's exactly where we were.




There are many areas to detour off the main path, climb some steps to a tea house, circle a tree, sit on a bench, rest on pretty patios, or walk a secluded path by the fence.






There were surprise water features everywhere, along with an almost hidden path through a bamboo forest, and these neat cypress knees.





None of the ponds had any water lilies or lotus, probably because the koi would destroy them. But in one little stream there was some water lettuce and at the edge of this pond, some taro.



Toward the end of our tour as we rounded a bend by the last pond, we spotted a gray heron across the pond. At first I thought it was a statue, as it wasn't moving even with people walking right behind it. But then it took a step toward the edge of the pond, oblivious to the nearby people. As we walked toward it, I thought surely it would fly off by the time we got there, but it continued to watch the pond. It finally moved when I invaded the patio it was on, but it never flew, just took a few steps off the patio where I couldn't follow.





Thanks for touring the Japanese Garden with me!

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13 comments:

  1. What a lovely place to visit and to linger. I'd take my knitting bag and sit in a isolated spot for the afternoon.

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  2. thank YOU for sharing. this looks like a beautiful place to spend an anniversary. it's nice to see and read about the repurposing of various materials within this public garden. perhaps visitors will take ideas and inspiration from that and do the same within their own gardens.
    i am not familiar with cypress knees. they look very interesting . . .
    you took many nice photos of this beautiful place and i can only imagine how thrilled you were to get such good shots of the heron~!

    :-)
    libbyQ

    p.s. thank you for your nice comment on my blog. i appreciate your visit so much.

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    1. Thank you. I know I got a lot of inspiration from it, especially the "rocks" made from concrete. I couldn't believe how tame that heron was.

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  3. Beautiful garden and amazing photos!!! Looks like you both have a wonderful day!! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  4. What a lovely, peaceful garden. Great photos. You inspired me to go see the Morikami Gardens here in our area. They are south of us, and I'll plan on a visit when it's cooler, not during the summer's heat and humidity.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you. Yes, do go to the gardens near you. I have always wanted to go to this one, but thought we'd cancel Saturday morning if it was as hot as it has been lately. Luckily, it turned out to be cloudy and that helped with the heat. There is a Japanese Garden in San Francisco I'd like to see too.

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  5. Happy anniversary! What a beautiful place. Thanks for taking us along on the tour.

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  6. What a lovely space - beautifully designed. Jx

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    1. Yes, it is. I can't imagine the work that went into making this out of an old gravel pit.

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  7. I heard it is beautiful, and it lives up to the reputation!

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  8. Lovely photos! Very inspirational!

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  9. Beautiful garden, lovely pictures. We visited that garden many years ago, but I don't remember it being that big. Hope you had a wonderful anniversary.

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  10. I wanna take a walk there! How beautiful.
    An 18-mile section of rails-to-trails just opened a little south of us. We're saving it for fall when the weather cools.

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