From East to West and Back: Getting the Best Flower Garden Design Ideas
The first gardens probably existed 4,000 years ago. Egyptian tomb paintings prove that the ancients had sophisticated ornamental gardens in their palaces and temples. It is fascinating to know that the art of gardening was originally a form of aesthetic expression, which was exclusive to members of the nobility. Soon, ornamental gardening found its way to other groups such as monks, warriors, and politicians. Ornamental gardens were prized not only for their beauty, but for their ability to allude to religious and political ideas.
Japanese gardening progressed under the influence of much earlier Chinese gardening ideas. Japanese gardening reached its zenith with Nihon Teien. One of the greatest influences on the development of Nihon Teien was the miniature landscape gardens pioneered by the Zen monk Kokan Shiren.
Being a secret art, the Nihon Teien gardening style was passed onto a student from the teacher. Unless the wisdom was passed on orally, a gakusei was not allowed to create gardens.
Fortunately, Nihon Teien is today widely accepted in the realm of gardening worldwide. Three substantial types of Nihon Teien exist, one of them being the art of sand-and-stone gardening or Zen-niwa. This gardening idea is generally found in Zen monasteries and temples where it employs raked sand and unique stone formations to allude to natural landscapes. Also called Kare-san-sui, Zen-niwa is filled with symbolisms apt for the holy austerities of Zen Buddhism.
Another form of Nihon Teien is the Tsukiyama, which uses artificial hills and little bodies of water to copy the wonders found in the natural world.
Such elements are used to create majestic sceneries that allude to the landscapes of both China and Japan. In essence, both ancient civilizations share a common culture in gardening. Examples of these gardens can be found in traditional Japanese homes and temples. Tsukiyama has also made a considerable impact on modern garden design ideas.
It is no longer surprising that many people know how to design a garden suitable for events such as tea ceremonies. The Chaniwa is a variant of Nihon Teien. Chaniwas are teahouse gardens that radiate melancholy, and symbolize absolute withdrawal from the world. Chaniwas are often seen in teahouses, and are distinguished by elements such as stones, lanterns, and stone basins.
Good flower garden design ideas also arose in the West. The distinctive Spanish gardening style draws inspiration from Islamic, Catholic, Moorish, and Persian cultures. Conventional Spanish gardens are characterized by the use of terra cotta and clay tiles. Common in homes and public areas, Spanish gardens use bright flowers, fruit trees, and seats to create environments that are both lush and opulent.
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