In the early part of this tour, Shinzen was described as a composition. What if the Garden is really a series of mini-compositions? These different areas of the Garden are called landscape rooms. Some are dark, cool, and quiet, while others are bright, and radiate heat and energy. These rooms are curated scenes—carefully sculpted through the combination of plant material, rocks, water, architectural and sculptural features, the Garden’s main building blocks.
Japanese gardens are influenced by the traditions of settlement selection of the past. Observe this idea in the coastal pine forest located across from the Donor Board. It is a small grouping of trees and rocks. This area is dark and cool; this is due to the large trees that are providing a canopy of shade. We can imagine that this area is quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Observe the combination of rocks and trees. The trees and rocks have been paired to create a decorative scene. The rocks are placed in an asymmetrical grouping of three. This strategy keeps the eye moving, rather than providing a place to rest. Groups of three are often used throughout Japanese Gardens, it is a stable arrangement.
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