Friday, August 20

What can this meditative garden teach you? Portland, OR

 This meditative garden is part of my apartment complex in Portland, Oregon. It is an enclosed garden, by our lobby, that every apartment member has access to. Yet it is a garden with few visitors. I can also see this wonderfully calming view from the windows of my apartment and I particularly like to view it at night as the whole garden is illuminated with warm lights. There are specific elements of this kind of garden that make sure it is relaxing and meditative in my opinion. The garden was definitely designed with the use of a few Japanese and Zen like elements

First of all there are not many plants. In fact, I just count three types of plantings and one variety of tree. It is amazing that so few plants in such a large space can have that much impact. One plant that adds an intoxicating fragrance is the Jasmine vine that produces dainty white flowers and glossy leaves. The vine covers the wood panel wall of the garden, and is a great focal point. 

 As far as colors, there is only a palate of green and white. It makes perfect sense to me only have two colors in this type of garden. White and green are subdued colors that do not cause the eyes to strain or cause the eye to dart from one end of the garden to the other.

The only color in the garden is from this white fragrant vine

Here you can see the blade like grass I was talking about. I don't think it flowers, but if it does I think it would be another white flower. plant. You may also notice that there is wood bench seating that runs the entire length of the focal wall underneath the jasmine.

In this photo you see one of the four trees, all the same variety.  Its leaves are falling in the middle of the summer because it has been so hot and probably not watered enough.

The trees are planted in the same large concrete pots that give the garden a modern industrial look along with its zen like principles. Just right for or a garden in a big urban city. The concept of repetition is reflected in the design of the concrete floor and reminds me of the movement of water. The garden has a open roof design and is also protected from the elements  with two large glass walls and a  wooden plank wall.

The photo below is the view at night from my apartment. At night the garden is glowing from the warm light. Viewing the garden before I go to sleep calms my mind that I can get all the rest I really need. I think we can all use this garden as inspiration in our own. Living in our big country we seem to want to over complicate our gardens with lots of plants and lots of color when we might make a bigger impact by using the concept of less. Less plants, less color, less variety. I am sure you have some ideas of how less can improve your garden.


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