I woke up in a bad mood. Well, really, I woke up still in a bad mood. February may be the shortest month, but I feel like this particular one is going to go on forever. A perpetual February. It has been a long, cold, gray month, and while we certainly don’t have it as bad as some, it has been challenging nonetheless. Bring on March and spring, please.
There is nothing quite like a bit of green space to soothe a bad mood and, this week, I found two Japanese gardens to share with you. I’ve always been attracted to this style of garden, so carefully created and yet so natural feeling.
Widely considered to be one of the one of the most beautiful and authentic Japanese gardens outside Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden (Oregon) is a tranquil and harmonious oasis full of meandering paths, stunning views, and thoughtful plantings.
Designed in the 1960s by Paul Takuma Tono, a professor of landscape architecture at Tokyo Agricultural University, the garden originally included five different garden styles laid out across five and half acres, but the garden has expanded over the years and now includes eight different garden styles over twelve acres as well as a cafe and welcome center.
The garden is open to the public during COVID, but travel from home is still very much a nope, so I have been experiencing the garden vicariously through its YouTube channel and Instagram. The One Minute of Serenity playlist is, indeed, very soothing and I recommend it as a short mental health break during all the busyness that is life. The garden’s Instagram is updated almost daily and the recent images of the garden after the Portland ice storm are particularly stunning.
In quite the opposite direction, The Japanese Garden in Cornwall (UK), has been busy filling its Instagram with stunning late winter photos. Snowdrops and camellias are in bloom, rhododendron buds are fat with promise, and moss has never looked so good.