Japanese Gardens and Texas
The work I’ve been doing lately has been mostly on the Quapaw House designs. We are trying to create designs and plans for several areas so that the staff there can plant and build as they have money and resources. I’ve been working on creating an herb garden out behind the building, with some extra touches. I’ve added vegetables and cut flowers, and instead of a formal geometric design, there will be a bunch of rectangular raised beds. I’m really excited about this because I can add whatever plants I want, and can arrange it any way I’d like.
There is a new intern that just came over here from Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh. He is another horticulture student, so now I’m not alone in wanting to know every plant here. Although, the things he is learning there, (and he’s only in his second year of horticulture), are way more in-depth and specifically aimed at horticulture than I’ve learned. Its pretty impressive, and makes me want to go over to Europe to see what they all know and learn over there.
We worked with a Japanese pruning expert from Fort Worth, TX for a couple days, and he showed us how the Japanese prune and shape their trees, using guidelines from nature. Creating different feelings with a simple shape or placement of a plant, and the extreme amount of time, effort and planning that goes into this art. It was really interesting working with him, and he told us about the thought process that goes into creating a Japanese garden.
We’re meeting with a Dr. David Slawson this week, who is a Japanese garden expert. He’s going to show us some garden design tips, and how to think differently about what you include in a garden’s design, and how each element can represent a larger scale landscape in a small area.
We’re off to Texas on Thursday morning. A round trip of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and some places in Louisiana on the way back. We are going to visit the botanic gardens down there, to see what types of setups they have there, and to see how different a garden in Texas is, and what their style is. It should be a pretty fun trip, jam-packed with things to see. We’re going to the Dallas Arboretum, Zilker Botanical Garden, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center (which has a lot of sustainable elements there), a sunken Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Botanic Garden, Houston Arboretum, Hermann Conservatory, and Hodges Gardens in LA. It was fun to plan out where exactly we were going, so we could make sure to hit most of the things we wanted to see down there.