Tuesday, April 18, 2023

WQ - In Honor of Gardens

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If you've read much here at A Fresh Cup, you might have noticed that I like to insert quotes into my writing. Especially when I write Five Minute Friday pieces. So when I stumbled across the Wednesday Quotes link-up hosted by Marsha at Always Write, it seemed really well-suited to me! I've realized that Wednesdays usually have a lot already going on in my blogging world, so I think I'll usually publish this on a day other than Wednesday.

The theme for WQ#16 is Earth/National Gardening Day. At first glance, I thought I would have little to offer other than some quotes I found interesting, because I don't have a garden of any kind, and I don't even like to garden. There, I said it. My husband has been a grower or manager of a greenhouse through our entire marriage, and I have no interest or knack for planting gardens or even keeping plants alive. But! I do enjoy gardens. I love to visit botanical gardens and conservatories, and I'd love to have my own garden. I just don't have any ability to actually plant or maintain it myself. 

As it turns out, I was able to attend the Members Only tour of the Japanese Garden at the Dawes Arboretum this past weekend, so that is the focus of my quotes and photos.

 This garden incorporates four styles associated with Japanese Gardens: Hill and Pond; Dry Landscape; Tea Garden; and Stroll Garden.

Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts. ~Anonymous

The first feature is the Dry Landscape, which is sort of a scaled down version of the much larger landscape, created with stones and gravel. This area is representative of the rolling hills and many winding valleys and rivers.

Then we were met with our first view of the Hill and Pond, another smaller scale depiction of mountains and ocean.

A Japanese Garden is at once a picture and a poem; perhaps even more a poem than a picture. ~Lafcadio Hearn

This Garden doesn't have a tea house, but there is a 'Resting House' or meditation house. This is the Tea Garden area.

The path around this end of the pond, with bridges and stepping stones to the islands constitutes the Stroll Garden.

A last look back at the pond and islands before the path reconnects at the Dry Landscape area.

Japanese Gardens usually have the features above, and are known for several characteristics that are part of the philosophy and design. There is a deep sense of respect and reverence for the earth and its plants and creatures, and the understanding that nature can renew itself without man's help―that we should step back and allow this to happen without interference. The designer's goal is to create a balance between man and nature, not just a beautiful place. 

The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway. ~Michael Pollan

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. ~Greek proverb

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

Zen opens a man's eyes to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space it its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden. ~D.T. Suzuki

I don't call it "zen", but there is something about a garden that reminds us of that original beautiful garden of Eden, and perhaps inspires us to reconnect with God, the original Gardener.

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground―trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. . . The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 
~Genesis 2:8-10, 15~

Source for some information and quotes included above: Japanoscope 

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  1. What a lovely place to visit! It would be such a nice spot to just rest and read for a bit. We used to study the works of Basho when I was teaching. I loved that particular unit.


    1. I'm not sure I'd heard of Basho before hunting up some of those poems. I'll be sure to go back to this particular garden, as I know my husband wants to see it

  2. Your quotes are fabulous! I love the slowest of performing arts. I can't seem to make anything grow here in Prescott, AZ. It is in the mountains, and between the finicky weather and the wild animals, my garden does anything but thrive so I identify with you. The pictures you took of the gardens are so bright and beautiful. I love the little bridge and the water feature. Water makes a garden so relaxing. Thanks for sharing, Kym!

    1. I'm not good at gardening and don't seem to have any luck at it, so I'm perfectly happy to visit other gardens! I loved visiting this Japanese Garden. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Beautiful photos and quotes. How fun! We have a japanese garden in portland oregon that I need to get back to, it's stunning.

    1. Before this visit, I hadn't been in a Japanese garden in many years. Now I think I'll visit regularly, to see it through the seasons! Thanks for stopping by!


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