Fort Worth, TX
Photograph - Digital Photograph
Peace, traquility and order reign in the Japanese Gardens in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth, TX. The garden was built in 1970 and many of the garden's plants and materials were donated by Fort Worth's sister city Nagaoka, Japan. Built in the tradition of Edo-period (1600-1868) stroll gardens, the Fort Worth Japanese Garden integrates several styles of garden design into a single landscape, including the 'Dry Landscape' (karesansui) seen here, The 'Karesansui Garden' (formerly called the 'Meditation Garden'), is patterned after Kyoto's famous 'Garden of the Abbot's Quarters', at the Ryoanji temple complex. It is a classic fifteen-stone, 'Hira niwa' (Flat Garden) composition, that has its own unique characteristics. One of them is an elevated and enclosed viewing veranda, evocative of a Japanese-style roofed bridge (rokyo). It surrounds the flat garden, allowing it to be viewed from all sides. Another is the exclusion of plant material from the exhibit's core. The fifteen boulders are surrounded by patterned gravel (samon), enclosed within a stone retainer, and surrounded by black volcanic scoria. The only plants allowed to flourish within this composition are the fruticose lichens which have colonized the boulder's surfaces. This minimalist exhibit stands as an exquisite metaphor of the famously sparse Zen aesthetic.
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