Japanese gardens interior deck, exterior space

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Japanese style gardens first gained attention in the United States at the 1893 World Conference exposure in Chicago, Illinois.

Over 120 years later, they continue to be an integral part of the design of American gardens. Today, there are more than 200 Japanese-style public gardens in the country, reports the North American Japanese Garden Association.

Japanese-style gardens bring together indoor and outdoor spaces, says Asher Browne of New Jersey. He creates Japanese-style gardens for the people of the United States. He trained in Kyoto, Japan.

“One of the reasons gardens are so successful in Japan is that the house-garden relationship is designed to be so integrated“Browne said. He added that gardens surround the house,” so it’s like your living space extends much further, “he said.

The design of Japanese gardens in the United States has gone beyond the commonly known framework characteristics such as special lights, called lanterns, and imported Japanese cherry and maple trees, says Sadafumi Uchiyama. He oversees a Japanese garden in Portland, Oregon. He is a third generation gardener from southern Japan.

Over time, Japanese gardens in the United States have changed to look more authentic. This happened in part because of the more widely available books on the subject, Uchiyama said.

Browne said that in Japan, garden spaces are linked to interior spaces. Everywhere a person looks from their house, a garden should almost look like a painting.

He said that “the idea of ​​bringing the beauty of nature into everyday life” is an important idea in Japan. He notes that Japanese gardeners pay special attention to the beauty of rocks and stones.

John Powell is a gardener from Weatherford, Texas who also trained in Japan. He said Japanese gardens appealed to him because of their close connection between indoor and outdoor space.

He said that traditionally in the open air landscaping in the United States “was very disconnected” from interior spaces. But today, he said, more Americans like the idea of ​​”connecting the inside and the outside.”

There have been changes among Japanese-style gardens in the United States in recent years. In the past, the trees and plants chosen were often from Japan. But today the goal is to use plants that grow well in local environments.

“It is quite possible to create a wonderful Japanese garden using all the native plants,” said Browne.

Garden designers who are experts in Japanese-style gardens say a common misconception is that this type of garden doesn’t require a lot of work. But they note that Japanese gardens sometimes involve even more work than other types of gardens.

Uchiyama said that these gardens require “constant small actions.

He noted that only 20 percent of the land in Japan is habitable. “So people learn to take care of their environment,” he said. One way to do this is to take care of their gardens often.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.

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Words in this story

garden – nm an area of ​​soil where plants (such as flowers or vegetables) are grown

exposure – n a show or a public exhibition

to integrate – v. combine (two or more things) to form or create something

characteristic – an interesting or important part, quality, capacity, etc.

authentic – adj. real or genuine: not copied or false

landscaping – nm the process of making changes to improve the appearance of (an area of ​​land)

constant – adj. occurring all of the time or very often over a period of time


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