Japanese garden (part 1)

Japanese garden: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

  • Japanese garden in the genre of haiku
  • Miniature Japanese garden
  • Sakutei-ki

Japanese garden in the genre of haiku

Over cherry blossoms
Hid behind the clouds
Modest moon.

Matsuo Base (1644-1694),
translation by Vladimir Sokolov

“A Japanese garden can be compared to a haiku poem. It reduces the complexity of the natural world to its essence in the garden. "1, said California-based landscape designer Mark Bourne, who uses native plants in the garden to capture the sensation of "Wabi" - the poetic atmosphere of solitude that characterized the culture of the tea garden ("Tyaniva") period of the XVI century. Tea houses - "Chashitsu" at that time they were located outside the cities and assumed an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and solitude in the countryside. This tradition is preserved and maintained in Japan to this day. Guests invited to the tea ceremony begin their journey to the tea house along a path made of stones (Roji), which gradually leads the guest to the tea house, where the owner will prepare and serve tea according to the strict rules of the tea ceremony.

The ideal Japanese tea garden is visible through the window as part and extension of the tea house or pavilion. The people who are in it, sipping tea, relax at the table in the inner room or in an armchair on the covered veranda. You can get aesthetic pleasure from looking through the window of a Japanese garden in any weather and at any time of the year, since Japanese gardens are designed in such a way that their composition takes into account the change of seasons.

Tea gardens vary in size and what is inside the garden. Depending on the desire and possibilities, the garden may contain trees, flowers, green plants, artificial waterfalls, streams, separately located stones or huge boulders. However, a tea garden can be created at very modest costs and in a very small area, and such modest gardens require minimal maintenance. If you wish, you can create a beautiful Japanese garden in the cramped conditions of an urban environment, on a small balcony of a city apartment, on a windowsill and even on a desk. If you choose a vantage point successfully, you can achieve the effect of being in a Japanese garden, and recharge with its life-giving energy after the bustle and stress that our life is full of.

Miniature Japanese garden

While looking through old magazines, in the October 1930 issue of the American magazine Popular Mechanics, I came across an article by Bob Hartley about how to create a miniature Japanese garden yourself... I liked the idea. I think that all those who also dream of their unique Japanese garden, but do not know anything about it or do not have a suitable land plot in order to set up such a life-size garden, will be attracted by the idea of ​​creating a miniature, but real Japanese garden with living plants and a real pond, which will need to be looked after in the same way as a life-size Japanese garden.

An alternative solution would be to create a Japanese garden using artificial objects: artificial bonsai tree, miniature artificial bushes, flowers, stones and sand. If someone is attracted by the idea of ​​a miniature garden, then you can use the figurines and components from the various models of the Japanese rock garden commercially available.

The main thing is that the garden that you will create should not leave the impression of chaotically collected figures, stones and plants that do not harmonize in size and proportions, which the Japanese will appreciate as a vulgar fake, and such a garden is unlikely to help us tune in to the atmosphere of relaxation and perception of beauty albeit a miniature, but a real Japanese garden.

Therefore, before you start creating such a miniature Japanese garden, you need to imagine what is invested in the concept of "Japanese garden", what elements it consists of, and what are the principles of its composition.


Deep in a lonely heart
Feel like I must die
Like a pale dewdrop
On the grass of my garden
In the deepening shadows of the twilight
Mrs. Casa (VIII century)

Chinese Emperor Ying Zheng Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC) went down in history as the ruler of the first centralized Chinese state, under which the Great Wall of China and a huge burial complex with the famous "terracotta army" was to accompany the emperor in the afterlife after his death. His name is associated with the birth of Chinese landscape painting and the creation of palace complexes surrounded by landscape parks, representing in a reduced size all corners of the vast domains of the first Chinese emperor.

During the reign of Qin Shi Huang, a peculiar art was born "Penjin" - creation of miniature landscape models. In the following centuries, the art of creating miniature natural compositions from stones, sand and plants was further developed. During this period, the formation of various directions and schools of this type of art began, which was continued in Japan, where, on the basis of knowledge brought from China about creating a harmonious environment and miniature models of "penzhin", new directions appeared, differing in the technique and methods of displaying natural landscapes, such like bonsaki, suiseki, saikei, bonkei and bonsai.

The first gardens appeared in Japan during the construction of large burial mounds there, called Kofun (300-552).3... In the Asuka area of ​​Nara Prefecture, during archaeological excavations, artificial streams and ponds formed from pebbles and cobblestones were discovered, which were built by Chinese craftsmen and resembled in structure large Chinese gardens with ponds. In the subsequent period of Nara (710-784), there are more and more such gardens and, most likely, local masters began to create them. The gardens of this period were distinguished by softer lines of the banks of streams and ponds, the banks of the ponds were not reinforced with stone walls, but had winding shallows and pebble beaches. In recent years, two gardens from that era have been restored in the city of Toin, Mie Prefecture and in the palace complex in the ancient capital of Japan, Heidze-Ke (8th century). The golden age of aristocratic Japanese gardens, when the development of garden architecture reached its apotheosis, falls on the Heian period (794-1185), the name of which can be translated as "calm, peace". The oldest surviving gardening manual "Notes on the organization of gardens" belongs to this period - "Sakutei-Ki", better known in Russian as "Treatise on Gardening" or "The Secret Book of Gardens." This treatise has not lost its significance at the present time.

And almost all authors who wrote about Japanese gardens afterwards refer to this treatise. The spelling "Sakutei-Ki" is traditionally attributed to Tachibana Toshitsuna (1028-1094). Despite the fact that this period was marked by the construction of a large number of Buddhist temples and an increase in the number of practicing Buddhism among the population of Japan, in Sakutei-Ki, the Shinto belief that all objects are sentient beings is applied to the composition of the garden. This concept, characteristic of the Heian period, is called "Mono no avare", which translates literally as "pathos of objects." “Mono no avare” can also be translated as “awareness of transience”, “feeling of fleetingness”. The state that corresponds to such a feeling can be described as bitter joy that everything is fleeting, as well as sadness and longing that everything is transient. This feeling, it seems to me, was sensitively conveyed by the early 8th century poetess Kasa no Iratsume, also known as Lady Kasa, who wrote poems in the waka style, a Japanese genre of love lyrics popular in medieval Japan.

The knowledge and use of waka in correspondence was an indicator of the education and taste of the enlightened elite of the Heian era. Whoever the author of the Sakutei-Ki treatise was, it can be said about him that, like Mrs. Kasa, most likely he was not a gardener, but was a courtier or a highly educated nobleman. The treatise tells about how to create a good garden, about the methods and rules for organizing gardens. Many of the concepts presented in the treatise are taken from Chinese books on gardening and horticulture. However, the differences that are characteristic of Japanese garden art are already emerging. For example, repeating the rules of the Chinese science of harmony with the environment Feng Shui, which is essentially the Taoist practice of symbolic space exploration, the author of the treatise offers alternative solutions. According to the author, nine willow trees can replace a river, and three cypresses can replace a hill. The author believes that if the metaphysical rules are unreasonable and limit the creator of the garden, then they can be replaced with simpler and more flexible ones. This approach is typical for Japan, when ideas borrowed from other countries are changed so that they fit the Japanese and harmoniously merge into Japanese culture.

Read in the second part of the article:

  • Japanese garden elements
  • Composition principles
  • Space and time

Zarine Arushanyan, Yerevan

1 Chadine Flood Gong, Lisa Parramore, Svein Olslund, Living with Japanese Gardens
2 Translated by Arushanyan Z.L.
3 Patrick Taylor, The Oxford companion to the garden

Famous rock gardens [edit | edit code]

Ryёanji's Garden [edit | edit code]

One of the most famous rock gardens is the fifteen rock garden of Ryan-ji Temple. The garden was built in 1499 by the master Soami (Japanese 相 阿 弥, died 1525). Such gardens are characteristic of many Zen Buddhist and Shingon temples in Japan.

It is a small rectangular area (from east to west - 30 m, from south to north - 10 m), covered with white gravel. There are 15 black rough stones on the site, they are organized in five groups. Green moss is planted around each group as a frame. The gravel is "combed" with a rake into fine grooves. On three sides, the garden is fenced with a low adobe fence.

From whatever point of view the visitor of the garden views this composition, the fifteenth stone is always out of his field of vision, enclosed by other stones. Sometimes, however, one gets the impression that 15 stones are visible, since individual stones, due to their irregular shape, are perceived as two. You can fully observe all the stones only by soaring in the air above the garden and looking at it from above. It is believed that only the "one who has attained enlightenment" can see all 15 stones.

The garden is part of the temple complex, so you can approach it only after passing through the temple, and contemplate - only while on the veranda of the temple.

In Russia [edit | edit code]

Garden project

The garden starts with a project. When creating it, the location of the site, its size and shape, purpose, as well as the style of the composition should be taken into account. Let's consider one of the options sequentially.

The territory of the site intended for the garden is applied to the sketch, the location of the garden in relation to the cardinal points is determined, all the elements on and around the site that will be included in the exposition are shown, and the main points of view of the garden are marked. Then a grid of nine rectangles is drawn. Four central points - power points on one of them should be the dominant element of the garden, for example, a large stone.

The garden area is divided into two parts. To visually increase the size of the garden, the main part is placed as far as possible from the main point of view. The stone, mentioned just above as an example, is positioned in the main part of the garden, at a central point, and installed with a facade towards the main viewpoint. For balance, two smaller stones are placed at the center point diagonally from the main stone.

The main part of the garden is filled with plants, and the other part is left free to create contrast. The correct placement of plants and other elements in the main part of the garden is achieved using the modeling method. For this purpose, specially made scale models of trees and shrubs, various elements of the garden, in shape and color close to nature. All this is placed on a relief model, covered with a layer of plasticine, so that the models hold well, but they can be easily moved as needed. By placing garden elements on the layout, it is easy to analyze the correctness of the compositional solution. Having found the best option, they carry out the project on paper.


The main meaning of a Japanese garden is for human solitude with nature. To create your own Japanese garden, you need to follow several rules - you need to use all the materials on the site in a miniature format: recreate miniature rocks, miniature trees and water bodies. All this gives the impression of an increase in space. There are three styles of garden composition:

  1. Shin style
  2. Style So
  3. Gio's style

And these compositions can be done as a hilly garden or as a flat garden.

Botanical gardens of Moscow - green parks of the capital

The main botanical garden of Moscow is located in the Ostankino district of the capital on the territory of the Ostankino Park of Culture and Rest. Its official name is the Main Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation named after N.V. Tsitsin. It is the largest in Europe, with the richest collection of plants in open and closed ground, numbering over 17 thousand species and varieties.

In 2014–2015, the territory of VDNKh was connected to the Botanical Garden and Ostankino Park. For this, the dividing fence between VDNKh and the Botanical Garden was dismantled, and the ticket offices at the entrance to the garden were closed. To go from park "Ostankino" a gate was opened to the territory of the botanical garden on the bridge over the pond dividing the garden.

Watch the video: The final part of making a Japanese garden. How to apply moss 苔貼り

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