What is Water Garden Design?
Water garden design can be an expression of thought or emotion, it can be a fulfilling mental endeavor or hobby for those long country summers, when the heart comes back into balance with nature. A water garden can even be a sublime spiritual retreat in the harsh winter rain of an urban apartment; the key is passionate design. The ancient and brilliant art of design is a mental picture that flows renewed through the human soul inspiring creativity, peace, harmony and love. Planning and delving in the aquatic dream of real life water gardens, is a vicarious experience that encompasses the very reaches of the inner being’s limitations. When first setting eyes, hands, or feet, on or within a water garden for the first time, the intense pathos of experience will entwine itself unto the layers of conscious imagination, breaking down walls, breaking down pain and anguish, transporting the body through time and space into the realm of chosen design.
Imagination is key to a power lurking deep inside every sentient mind. Water garden design must reflect the given sequence of images trapped inside the tempest of human imagination in order to harness this power. Designers, must propel their imaginations into the abstract world of dreams and return as travelers with tales from far away lands, and transport these tales into the enchanting wonder of their water garden. The kingdom of fantasy is as infinite as the child’s imagination; no designer can ever forget that. If so caught up in the hustle and bustle of today’s ration and reason, then that will be the outcome of the water garden. For the secret to catharsis is creating the illusion of ones own experience, being that of the artist’s.
Designing a garden based on such a sacred element as water requires not only the developed enchantment of imagination’s manuscript; but also the patient wisdom of careful and delicate awareness. Making an experience come to life means being practical and pragmatic, for what use are dreams unless they have an application in the material world. Water garden design appeals to well structured plans that are fearless of a decent perspective and a coherent logic. Building ordinate systems of the “ideal” into smaller more attainable goals is what seizes a dream from the god Oneiros of nocturnal slumber and hurls it head first into the possessive concept of material substance. Without steps, the portal to paradise is but an artificial intangible fiction, reminiscent of Baudelaire.
Designing a water garden is at its most opulent moment, when catharsis is finally the utmost expectation of every appreciation conceivable. Being swept away on the wings of experience depends on the conceptualization, layout, aquascape design, preponderance of strategic planning, awareness and feel. If looking at a bowl of rocks with moss and bamboo water fall does something extraordinary to human ration; then the sound, smell, taste and touch of that same ambiance will determine the attainable depths of vicarious perception; that is, the very depth of cathartic experience.
Water garden design needs dynamic imagination, good planning and be humbly built to achieve a cathartic experience. Whether it is Dedalus projecting the inner water fall for the Minotaurís garden labyrinth, the god/mage Toth designing the first Egyptian oasis, or the Buddhist priest Takuan giving counsel to Shogun Tokugawa on the underlining spiritual values of having running water gardens in Osaka Castle’s meditation room. Design brings idea into form, life to dreams, and true meaning to the water garden.