An interesting fact: as early as 1940, the landscape architect Henry Teuscher suggested, in his program for an ideal botanical garden, the possibility of building a Japanese garden.
The landscape architect Ken Nakajima chose peridotite, a rare stone of a serpentine emerald green color, to lend his arrangement a distinctive character. The stones used were located at the asbestos mine in Thetford Mines, Québec.
The plans for the Tea Garden were offered by the city of Hiroshima. This garden was completed in 2002 by the horticulturist Louis Rinfret and his team. Work was carried out under the supervision of Tom Torizuka, who was Ken Nakajima’s assistant when the Stroll Garden and the Dry Garden were being created.
Fish associated with perseverance
Japanese carp (koi), visible in the summer in the Japanese Garden pond, can live as long as 50 years.
These fish are associated with Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi) in Japan. Every year on May 5, carp-shaped windsocks are raised and allowed to flutter in the wind. These banners symbolize the courage and perseverance that boys will have to demonstrate as they make their way through the various stages of life.
Plants rich in symbols
Emblematic of Japan, the cherry blossom symbolizes beauty, sweetness, gentleness. Its short life embodies the fleeting character of beauty.
Introduced to Japan in the eighth century, tree peonies require enormous amounts of care. Only rich Japanese were able to possess them, because only they could afford the services of gardeners.
Another plant that can be admired in the garden, the lotus, or “Buddha’s flower,” does not float on the surface of the water like the water lily, but instead is supported by a thick stem, a long stalk that reaches or extends past the highest leaves.
The pine is the symbol of longevity. Thus, we often find a pine grove in Japanese gardens. Ours brings together the three species of pine that grow in Québec forests: white pine, red pine and jack pine.