November 8, 2011

Autumn in the Japanese Garden

There is a Japanese tea garden nearby that is one of our family’s Very Favorite Places. Andrew and I have been touring the garden since our first year of dating. Our very first fall trip there however, was when I was pregnant with Julia. It was so beautiful that year! It was very cold and very clear that fall, which makes for really vivid autumn color.

We take Julia from time to time, but really, the beauty of the place is pretty much lost upon her at this point. She enjoys prancing across the rocks that span a tiny, tinkling mini-stream, and she likes running down the path to peer at turtles, but the garden is best enjoyed when one can really sit in silence on a bench and take in all the gorgeous scenery. I think my sweetpea is a few years out from being able to achieve this quasi-meditative journey through decorative foliage!

Andrew always says every time we go that when we become bazillionaires or quatrillionaires, he’s going to replicate the Japanese Garden in our backyard. Me, I’d rather have a sprawling English country garden but I suppose that if we do indeed become gazillionaires, we could have BOTH.

This picture above is the Teahouse. You can observe traditional tea ceremonies here for free or for a $5 tea ticket, you can participate in the ceremony and get a bowl of tea and sweets! I haven’t done this YET, but Andrew’s brother did and he said it was rad.

In the summertime there is a ceremony I really, really want to experience: Tanabata, which is the observance of the Japanese Star Festival,

The Tanabata holiday is held on the seventh night of the seventh month. Children participating in the festival typically decorate bamboo sticks with bright pieces of paper that have wishes written upon them. This sounds very appealing to me, but then again I am writing a Children’s Book blog largely because I haven’t outgrown the things I liked from childhood! (and I act like a 2 year old.)

Not to confuse you or anything but these pix of Julia and I and the koi fish are not from this year. She didn’t come with us this most recent outing because she was at her grandma’s house and this year when we went it was overcast and you couldn’t really see the fish. And I wanted you to see the fish.

Behold the fish.

You get to feed the fishies in the warm weather months with special koi food. And then you get to watch the fish hoover it all up with their little vacuum cleaner mouths.

The garden is also supremely lovely in late spring. Actually it’s always lovely! But I think it truly shines most in autumn.

I always thought it would be phenomenal to get married in the garden, but alas, no weddings allowed. Which I understand totally. But imagine the level of awesome!

Fall takes this already gorgeous spot and injects it with an extra shot of pretty-pie.

The story that led to the Japanese Star Festival is called ‘The Princess and the Herdboy’ and can be found in this wonderful book that I wrote about in this post.

Isn’t the garden just lovely? (So sorry for any blurriness, I accidentally brought the more sucky of my two sucky cameras. I am very much hoping that the holidays star fairies will enable me to get a DSLR soon!)

What kind of garden do YOU want to have when you achieve mezozillionaire status? And who wants to go moon viewing?


  1. I adore Japanese gardens! Your pictures are truly gorgeous. So glad you shared!

  2. Thanks Gabrielle! I'm torn about which garden I'd rather be in more...the japanese garden or that magical looking field you were standing in over in France....:) ~Melissa

  3. I love the place, the maple tree is so attractive that give a wonderful color to the place.