25 September 2010

Bucket List

"Moonbridge" photo by Allan Bruce Zee
Portland Japanese Garden

"A Japanese garden is not only a place for the cultivation of trees and flowering shrubs, but one that provides secluded leisure, rest, repose, meditation, and sentimental pleasure...The Garden speaks to all the senses, not just to the mind alone."

—Professor Takuma Tono
Designer of the Portland Japanese Garden

The Friendship Bell,
Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
Lethbridge Alberta
W.C. in photo
I was just reading a blog written by April Demas at Canadian Gardening Magazine online (http://www.canadiangardening.com/blog/2010/08/23/a-visit-to-nikka-yuko/) about the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge Alberta which brought me to remember my own visits there. It is serenity itself! I believe this is where I came to appreciate the intricacy of garden design and definitely fell in love with Japanese Gardens. My earliest memory of the garden was as a child strolling the pathways, peering into the pond and ringing the friendship bell. I have made several subsequent visits, each time equally enthralled with this small but serene and remarkable garden.

photo by David M. Cobb

If you get a chance, there are a few more noteworthy Japanese Gardens including and certainly not limited to Kurimoto Japanese Gardens at the Devonian Botanical Gardens, Devon, Alberta; Nitobe Memorial Garden at the UBC (British Columbia) – a must see for me; and the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon – another one I just have to visit. Another favourite of mine, should you be in Vancouver in the future, is the Van Dusen Gardens! It is not a Japanese Garden per se but is a remarkable display of plants arranged by country of origin, including some of Asian origin.  This garden takes several hours for a photo happy writer, like myself, to navigate. It is an essential garden for the plant addict to visit.

photo by Donair Spencer
I visited the press release portion on Portland Japanese Garden site and accessed some fabulous information and photos. I am mesmerized.  A few years ago my family and I vacationed in Vancouver and Seattle making our way down the coast into Oregon but we didn't make it as far as Portland.  Happily I took in Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver and another garden which shall remain nameless, simply because I cannot remember its name, in Seattle.  Hydrangeas, pampas grass,  rhododendrons, azaleas, and so much more to delight your senses!  Definitely on my bucket list are the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island and Portland Japanese Gardens in Oregon.  Now,  I just have to get there!   

Anyone have suggestions on other must-see public gardens?  I have room on my bucket list.



Rosey said...

I have heard the Botanical Gardens in NY are a must-see.

I should ask my Dad, he loves to travel and has seen a lot of places.

I like your list! I hope you one day get to visit these inspirational and amazing places.

Anonymous said...

I loved that quote, and feel very much the same way about garden design.

mysisterdalesgarden said...

Lovely blog with wonderful photos. If you are an admirer of gardens as I am---please visit my garden dedicated to my sister.


Anonymous said...

I also love Japanese Gardens. I've actually been reading about them all weekend!
If you go to Vancouver again you should visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese garden. In Victoria you must see the Abkhazi garden - it's absolutely gorgeous and has a fascinating story. Neither is Japanese, but I think you'll love them!
The most unusual Japanese Garden I've seen was in Hilo, Hawaii where the garden is built on a black lava flow. There is a beautiful Japanese garden at the Montreal Botanical Gardens and one in San Francisco as well!

Shirley said...

Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I will definitely have to add those to my list. Thank you Ann for all the ideas! I think Chinese gardens are just as beautiful.

Rambling Woods said...

I will have to see what it in my western NY area...


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