There is no denying the sense of serenity that you feel when strolling through a traditional Japanese garden
That is why, when Christian Jenkins of the Landscape Design Group was asked by beyondblue to create a wellness garden for this year’s Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, he looked to the design of Japanese tea gardens for inspiration.
At the rear of the garden sat a timber tea house with a black shingle roof, ironbark posts and silvertop ash decking. Open on three sides, the structure was furnished with low, comfortable seating and featured a potted bonsai tree.
Upon entering the garden, you were given a choice of two stone paths you could take to reach the tea house, symbolising the decisions to be made as you journey through life. The paths followed the outline of the lake, a large and tranquil body of water embraced by a rocky shoreline, rolling lawns, shady glens, raked sand, and several discreetly placed decorative elements, such as carved stone lanterns. The right-hand path led over a bridge and represented making the more challenging decision.
The feeling throughout was that of cool forest and that was achieved by drawing on a largely traditional Japanese planting palette that included Acer palmatum, Ginkgo biloba, Zelkova serrata, Pinus thunbergii and Pieris japonica.
Christian Jenkins and the Landscape Design Group won a Silver Show Garden Award as well as the People’s Choice Award for Tea Garden.
Originally from Outdoor Design & Living Issue 31