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|Water Features For Japanese Gardens|
Japanese Gardens are beautifully sculpted areas that utilize various plants, ornamental statues and water features that work in harmony with one another. A water feature in a Japanese Garden traditionally takes on a more subtle tone then many of the types used in European and Western gardens. This subtle tone gives the Japanese Garden a relaxing contemplative quality that is especially conductive to quiet reflection and meditation. The correct use of water features is a useful method in creating this feeling of peace and can be done with either reflective pools or small waterfalls.
The use of reflective pools stills the mind and promotes concentration. The mirrored appearance of still water has a daydream quality to it. Reflective pools have been used in religious temples and other areas that want to set themselves apart from the ordinary thoughts and feelings of practical everyday life. Gazing at a body of still water directs the mind inward and and it is easier to pay attention to what is coming from inside. Reflective pools can be either large ponds or smaller receptacles that hold water. Water feature reflecting pools can be created with the use of granite and stone basins that usually hold water in an upper hollowed out bowl section at the top. An advantage that this type of receptacle has over a cascading water fountain is that a basin appears completely natural as if rain water has accumulated in the recess, which in fact it can. In a receptacle the water also remains completely still which strengthens the tranquil quality of the piece.
The use of small waterfalls in Japanese Garden areas works because the water features are made to look as natural as possible. Natural looking waterfalls fit in great with the Japanese Garden theme of sculpted natural elements working together in harmony. The water features we are referring to will typically be composed of stone or slate and have a staggered pattern to the waterfall surface. This style looks great on hillsides or small mounds in the garden area. A small waterfall will create a subtle and peaceful sound that is relaxing, but not too loud to overwhelm the peaceful garden ambiance. Even small statues or clay figurines like of monks or fishermen and small arched bridges are placed by a waterfall to create a miniature scene of traditional Japanese fishing village life. It is also believed to create good luck by tossing coins into a pond which will pay homage to the benign spirits in the area and whatever you put in is though to flow back to you eventually.
Nature In Harmony
A successful Japnese Garden will focus on natural elements, but those of which have been cultivated by a human hand to create order and harmony within the garden. The correct use of pathways, water features and statues are believed to bring the elements of the natural world into harmony. In Asian gardens we find an emphasis on defined sections within the garden that are separated using paths, plants and water like ponds and statues. The area is also cultivated and trimmed to precision. Daily garden maintenance, sweeping of leaves and care is the norm. Japanese Bonsai trees are a tradition in themselves and known for their precise guidelines regarding pruning techniques and watering that make their care a work of art and a philosophical exercise. The care of a Japanese Garden should ultimately reflect the accomplishments and wisdom of it's caretaker and owner and the beneficence of the land on which it sits.
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