Appreciating Nature through Gardening

Garden Types Part II: Aesthetic Contemplation

Presented as the home of a wealthy official of the Kaga clan, the Nomura Samurai House in Kanazawa offers a quiet space for private contemplation. The formal jyodan-no-ma (drawing room) and adjoining private study both open to a narrow veranda for viewing the intimate garden.   Intended for visual pleasure and a display of refined taste rather than strolling, the garden appears as a microcosm of landscape design.  The backdrop of white plastered walls encloses the view and reinforces the garden as an artistic extension of the house.  The miniature dressed stone slabs may allude to the “eight bridges landscape” motif of Heian poetry, reflecting the owner’s cultural sophistication.

The languid motion of Koi break the pond reflection, appearing to swim in the sky.

A broad collection of plants form a dense, textured vista.

A view from above shows the dense canopy of evergreen and deciduous trees.  The copper bell rain chain would bring sounds of nature to the upper levels of the house.

Another second level view provides a glimpse into the naturalistic understory with informal paving for the gardener’s access.

Along the side of the house, a narrow path of dressed stone leads to a small structure.  The stone wrapped in rope indicates that the way is not open to the public.   Water trickles from the mossy boulder decorated with a tiny nosegay of ageratum and turtlehead, marking the source that feeds the garden.

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