Nature Friday ~ May 6, 2022

If yesterday’s stock market dive has left you feeling a bit stressed, then hopefully this week’s Nature Friday edition will provide some comfort. As usual we’re joining our fur-pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Hopefully these new pics from the Denver Botanical Gardens will be the antidote that can help restore your zen.

Norman & Elsa curated these images from my favorite area within Denver Botanical Garden’s grounds. Despite the fact the Ranch Hands are not being able to enjoy the beauty first hand (dogs are not permitted unless they are bona fide service dogs), it’s a place full of peaceful calm and serenity. Let’s go straight to the zen, shall we?

First, a little bit of historical info about the garden called Shofu-En, or “Garden of the Pine Winds.” Located in the northwestern corner of DBG, the Japanese Garden was designed by Koichi Kawana over 40 years ago (he also designed Japanese gardens in San Diego, Chicago, and St. Louis). Kawana transplanted over 100 locally sourced ponderosa pines that had been stunted by harsh, windy conditions in the Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder, Colorado. Some of the smaller trees are more than 200 years old and are meticulously maintained to preserve their size and shape through trimming and tying of their branches.

Kawana also designed the teahouse, that was originally built in Japan, disassembled and rebuilt on the site. In the 40 years I’ve lived in the metro area, I’ve only seen the tea house in use between the fence slats just once for a private group. Without sufficient access to the fenced area, I’ve never really been able to get a decent picture but learned tea ceremonies are held during summer months, pre-registration is required and it’s already sold out for the 2022 season.

There are several features that distinguish a Japanese garden. This little fella, camped out near the “Bee Hotel” featured in last week’s post, sweetly shouted them out as I moved toward the garden. Overall, the keys are: keep it natural, simple and uncluttered.

Welcome visitors..

Japanese gardening offer simple, peaceful spaces that promote contemplation and serenity. The space can be small or large but always focuses on natural elements to provide a relaxing retreat, underscoring nature’s impact on the space.

Japanese garden
Order and serenity are a hallmark of Japanese garden design.
Welcome to the Japanese Garden

Beautifully raked areas are often a prominent feature in a Japanese garden. No wonder dogs cannot accompany their owners. With Norman’s big paws, this area’s serenity and order would be undone in no time.

With Denver’s climate of being considered a mountain desert, a dry garden is in perfect harmony with Japanese garden design. It’s easy to slowly meander across the bridge while walking around a small water feature that feeds into the lake. Spaces are meant for viewing nature, provide balance and inspiring peaceful meditation.

Japanese garden
Boulders and a small  bridge adds to the zen feeling.

The pièce de résistance centerpiece of the garden is the pond and this redbud tree highlights it beautifully with spring color.

Japanese Garden
Calm at the pond area.
Evergreen trees surround the pond.
Japanese bells.
Temple Bells.

These temple bells were provided by a generous DBG patron. They are exquisite and one can only imagine the sound they could make when struck.

Koi pond
Koi enjoying a spot of sun.

No Japanese garden is complete without a Koi pond. These guys slowly meander about adding to the whole peacefulness of the space.

I hope this short tour lowered your blood pressure and just in time for a Mother’s Day celebration this weekend. Everyone at the Ranch wish mum’s everywhere, a lovely day with meaningful time with their children, whether they have two or four feet.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark!  🐾

33 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ May 6, 2022

  1. Just love the koi pond and the idea of serenity. There was a koi pond at St. Paul’s Episcopal church when I worked there, and a racoon used to eat the fish. Someone finally trapped him and took him to a new home in the wild, LOL! Have a great weekend!!

    1. It’s so relaxing to watch koi swim slowly around a pond but it’s a known fact, raccoons and koi ponds do not exist well together. 🤣

  2. What a gorgeous and calming atmosphere in a beautiful place…..we love Japanese gardens. Have seen many around the world and they never fail to lower the blood pressure! Serene – we need more serenity in our lives………….

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Particularly these days! I’ve decided I need to spend more time enjoying sights like that. 😇

  3. Ahhh, so gorgeous! And very peaceful, indeed.
    Near to where we live we have Meijer Gardens, and within that huge park, there is also a Japanese Garden.Very similar to yours. Maybe the same artist/gardener designed it, I don’t know for sure anymore.

    1. From what I was quickly able to suss out, Hoichi Kurisu designed the Japanese Garden at the Meijer Gardens. I looked on the website and there are tea ceremonies available to check out including a couple in June. I’m so jealous!

        1. One simply cannot look at a Japanese garden setting (in person or through a photo) and not feel more zen.

    1. It’s always been my happy place-from the time I lived around the block back in the 80’s to now. So peaceful and so beautiful.

    1. Always a pleasure having you as a visitor on our tours. I may not have a magic cow, but sharing pics from a place like that seems like a good alternative. 😉

    1. If you come to Denver, I’d love to meet up with you and show you this beautiful place. It’ll give you a great idea of how gardening in the Rocky Mountains can still be quite beautiful despite the lack of water.

  4. So beautiful and yes, breathing and blood pressure are down to proper levels after taking my time meandering through your photos!
    Happy Friday

  5. Absolootely beeuteful Gardenss! Wee wuud lo to live there Miss Monika an Sweet Norman an Elsa…..what do youss’ think???
    Wishin efurryone at THE Mile High a furabuluss weekend….
    **nose rubss** BellaDharma an {{{huggiess}} BellaSita Mum

    1. Many thanks, BellaDharma and BellaSita Mum. We would love to show the gardens in person but a virtual tour will have to do for now. We hope you have a wagnificent weekend. Hugs and tail wags to you from all of us.

  6. What a beautiful, tranquil and lovingly tended garden. Gail says if Mr Putin could learn to appreciate such spaces the world would be a better place right now.

    1. We keep wondering why Mr. Putin is so doggone bent on bringing misery to the region. It just leaves us scratching our heads.

    1. It’s a guaranteed wonderful visit, be it short or lengthy. Let me know the next time you’re in town for a visit; I would love to meet you there.

    1. Hee, hee…love your pun. Glad you found some relaxation in this virtual tour. It’s a beautiful place that provides me with some major chilling out and letting nature calm my spirit.

    1. It’s such a sanctuary for the craziness of life. I love going there.

  7. Oh my what a wonderful taste of nature. Beautiful.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a big hug to you. ♥

    1. Many thanks, Sandee! Hope you can experience a great Mother’s Day on the water.

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