Part one of a series on themed landscape design will explore the gardens of Asia and the Near East. First off though, let’s explore China and Japan. Be sure to read part two of this series as well as part three.
Setting Up a Chinese Garden As Part of Landscape Design
First off, though, what’s the difference between a Chinese garden and a Japanese garden? Chinese gardens are themed landscape designs that are over three thousand years old. Chinese gardens can be vast, like for those of the Imperial Family, or they can be small and intimate places that are designed for both peace and as a temporary respite from the outside world. Whether large or small, however, a Chinese garden is supposed to convey a message that harmony should always exist between nature and mankind.
In a way, a Chinese garden is like a living story, separate from the outside world. Walls always enclose Chinese gardens and there are a combination of paths, rocks, flowers and pavilions. Sometimes, there are water features as well. By moving through the garden, visitors get to see a series of scenes. All Chinese gardens, like their Japanese counterparts are very serene places. A Japanese garden does differ from a Chinese garden in a lot of ways, as far as themed landscape design goes.
Themed Landscape Design: Japanese Gardens
Japanese gardens originally were Chinese gardens, but over time, they started to develop their own unique style, and have been unique for over two centuries. A lot of Japanese gardens for example originated with the Shinto religion, and as such have several common threads. First off, there are unusual rocks in a Japanese garden, as well as white pebble paths. The white of the pebbles symbolizes purity, as well as simulates a dry riverbed. One thing that is interesting about these gardens is how diverse they are.
The Moss Garden in Kyoto is a classic Japanese garden, as is Kinkaku-ji, and so is the Zen rock garden of Ryōan-ji, and each of them is vastly different from each other. Some of them are just for asethetics, and others for meditation and contemplation. And you can also have one on your property too, as part of landscape design with a theme.
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