Those considering creating a Japanese-style garden at their home, and others interested in the history of these beautiful spaces, gathered this summer at the Woodstock Branch Library for an illustrated lecture by landscape architect Dawn Grunwald.
'Moving here to the Northwest, I noticed Japanese influence in the landscaping in the neighborhoods,' Grunwald said. 'And, there's a wonderful Japanese Garden in downtown Portland. This led me to do research on the history of these gardens, and the characteristics of their symbology.'
The Japanese borrowed a lot of ideas from Chinese culture, explained Grunwald. 'Wars and warlords passing through the lands, and religion, also had a lot to do with it.'
The library class learned that there are three basic designs:
• Gardens to view - Small garden spaces to serve as the 'backdrop' for a room;
• Strolling Gardens - A yard that one can stroll through, and enjoy different experiences as you are strolling through them;
• Gardens as a setting for the tea ceremony - The tea ceremony is the destination, and the slow meditative walk to the tea house is part of the experience one derives from the garden.
'I like to form little communities of similar interest, when I give these presentations at the library,' Grunwald told THE BEE afterward. 'It's a way for people to get out of their houses, and meet their neighbors, face-to-face. Maybe it will influence homeowners to get out in the yard and make some changes, and meet their neighbors.'
But, she reflected - and then added, 'It's really more about community-building.'