Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Morikami Gardens

Here are Jean and Jack, who walked with us through the beautiful Morikami Gardens near Del Ray, Florida today. Mr. Morikami was part of an agricultural settlement near here in the first quarter of the 20th century. After the end of the settlement (and its unconscionable confiscation in World War II) he remained in the area and acquired a large tract of land, which he donated to the state for a park and Japanese garden.

Other contributors have allowed development of a cultural museum, a large park building including a great restaurant and gallery, and virtually every type of historic Japanese garden. All the paths wind around a large natural pond, with some artificial streams and waterfalls. Fortunately from time to time the sun shone on us as we walked along these paths.

A Deer Scarer -- this long tube fills with water, over balances, hits the lower stone with a large noise (to scare the deer) and then tips up and fills again.

A classic stone garden is among the very beautiful and numerous gardens here. The garden does not include labels to tell the visitors the names of the plants. The idea of a Japanese garden is the whole, not the individual parts. I appreciate this philosophy!

Surrounding the museum building are a large number of Bonsai and other dwarfed trees and plants. I was especially fond of this one, because it was in bloom. Many are twisted and formed quite beautifully. They compliment the impressively formed trees in the full-sized gardens, which are often staked with horizontal round staves of smooth wood to retain a desired shape.

The museum displays change from time to time. Today there were several rooms from a typical Japanese house, such as this kitchen. Note that visitors are told to open the refrigerator and cupboard doors to see (behind plastic shields) the contents that might be present in a Japanese house. There were also other rooms: even a non-working example of an electric toilet.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I don't think I ever heard of this spot. It's simply beautiful -- so tranquil. And I'm very fond of the museum photo. Sounds like you are having a lovely time!