The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was another station on my tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Veteran's Day with Blog Widow. What's the connection between Veteran's Day and BBG's Japanese garden? Its designer, Takeo Shiota, died in a U.S. internment camp during World War II.
There are different styles of Japanese gardens. The hill-and-pond style is intended to be viewed from a fixed point, in this case, the pavilion that reaches out over the shore of the pond. The stone basin above adorns the entrance to the pavilion.
It is a blend of the ancient hill-and-pond style and the more recent stroll-garden style, in which various landscape features are gradually revealed along winding paths. The garden features artificial hills contoured around a pond, a waterfall, and an island while carefully placed rocks also play a leading role. Among the major architectural elements of the garden are wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, the Torii or gateway, and a Shinto shrine.The steep hills, representing distant mountains, are a maintenance nightmare: they cannot be mowed by walking a mower across them. Instead, the mower must be rigged to bypass its safety features, and carefully lowered and raised down and up the slopes using ropes controlled from the tops of the hills. BBG staff are gradually replacing the turf of the original design with slow-growing dwarf Ophiopogon, Mondo grass. These will eventually provide the same scale and texture as lawn without the hazards to life and limb.
One of the treacherous slopes along an idyllic path.