Japanese Buddhist Gardens

This is a paper I wrote while at university for a Buddhist Art class. I thought I’d share it here because I wrote about Japanese moss gardens in my book Nature Obscura.


According to Bring & Wayembergh (1981) the history of Japanese gardens can be broken down into three phases. The first phase being a “modified form of the paradise style garden which had developed earlier.” The next phase was then “miniature landscapes that were built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries around Zen temples.” The last phase “included the garden settings meant to recreate the wilderness around a hermit’s retreat.”

Summarized, these three phases were the paradise gardens, the Zen stone landscapes and the tea gardens. The paradise gardens originally were created for the aristocracy as pleasure gardens. As Amidism grew the gardens were created to…

Continue reading →

Wallenstein Palace Gardens

Located in the Little Quarter in Prague, the Wallenstein Palace (Valdštejnský Palác) Gardens are beautiful, interesting and full of unintentional habitat. Wallenstein Palace is grand, consisting of twenty-three houses, three gardens and five courtyards. The gardens are completely enclosed by the buildings and walls and only accessible by two entries. Commissioned by, and named after Habsburg general Albrecht z Valdštejna during the Thirty Years’ War, Wallenstein was originally a palace, but now serves as the home of the Czech Senate. The Renaissance palace and gardens were built by Italian architect Giovanni Pieroni and constructed by Andrea Spezza and Niccolo Sebregondi. After Albrecht’s death, murdered for his plundering, double-crossing ways, much of the furnishings of the Palace were confiscated.

The original sculptures by Danish artist, Adrian de Vries, one of the best Renaissance sculptors outside of Italy, were stolen by Swedish forces after the war, and now replicas stand throughout the garden. The replicas…

Continue reading →

Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center Native Plant Garden

The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve is 2,500 acres of coastal wetland located at the mouth of the Tijuana River in southern California. It’s located in the most southwestern point of the continental U.S., running along the United States – Mexico border. The estuary contains the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Border Field State Park, Tijuana River Valley County Park and is divided up among San Diego County property, San Diego City property and U.S. Navy lands and a half dozen different or so agencies are involved in management and use. It’s one of 27 estuarine reserves in the country, designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for education and research. The reserve is  among the remaining 10% of southern California’s coastal wetland habitat. The northern portion of the reserve is surrounded by residential developments to the north,…

Continue reading →