Yesterday I visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens on a trip to St. Louis with my drawing class. I wanted to share my experience there and talk about the structure of the Japanese garden. It was the most interesting and the one I felt most strongly about.
I spent most of my time there because it was very quiet and tranquil. I sat on a stone with a classmate and sketched a beautiful stone sculpture of a Japanese structure. It was a tower of some kind that was tucked back in a quiet, dark little corner of the garden in which only a stone trail lead out to. The sculpture only had splashes of light draped across giving it small subtle hints of shadow. It was a rigid temple with windows through each side. I sketched only have of the piece while I spent the rest of my time taking in the environment-sounds of the fountains and waterfalls, smells of the Japanese pine and cherry blossoms.
The Japanese Garden is named Seiwa-en, which means the garden of pure, clear harmony and peace. There is a 4-acre lake in the garden full of bridges, fountains, and streams. The lake is surrounded by dry gravel gardens that are raked into beautiful patterns.
I thoroughly enjoyed feeding the Japanese koi and the ducks that call the Japanese Garden home. Overall, the experience was very relaxing and I know I fully understand their culture and their love and appreciation for nature and everything that it entails. I feel that the environment that they created soothes and relaxes everyone who walks through it, sits in it, or breathes it in.
Images and information came from the Missouri Botanical Gardens webiste: www.mobot.org