This collection of contemporary Japanese gardens has developed around the garden designed by the highly acclaimed Japanese landscaper Shodo Suzuki.
His L'archipel is the only garden he has designed outside of Japan. Representing the archipelago of Japan with these black stones now placed on the water, this garden beckons us on a poetic meditation of the landscape. In close connection with Shodo Suzuki, Fumiaki Takano then invented a stunning circular project which surrounds the latter's work and triples the surface area of ponds reflecting the clouds above. Hiroshi Naruse rounded off this collection in 2015.
These recently laid out gardens will change in step with the seasons and passing years.
THE IRIS ENSATA AND LAEVIGATA OF THE JAPANESE GARDEN
Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese irises suitable for decorating water features have enjoyed well-deserved popularity thanks to their big single or double blooms, delicate appearance and range of colours, from pure white to dark purple.
The Iris ensata Thunb. (hanashōbu, in Japanese) was the subject of extensive plant breeding work in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). Hundreds of cultivars were created, and consequently, illustrated monographs were published, and some of the greatest masters in prints produced some subtle representations of them. Gardens were even created to be able to house these collections of irises that bloom in summer, just like the Horikiri iris garden in Tokyo. The Iris ensata, like many other marshland plants, can grow with its “feet” in the water throughout the summer, but does not like to be in the water in the winter. It is therefore recommended to plant this variety on the banks where the soil is moistened through capillary action during the summer months.
The Iris laevigata Fisch. (kakitsubata, in Japanese) is native to a geographic area that ranges from Siberia to Japan, and this variety can survive in shallow waters all year round. Numerous horticultural varieties were created in Japan during the first half of the Edo period, between the 17th and 18th centuries, but they were soon forgotten and replaced by the more popular Iris ensata. One of the most well-known representations of the Iris laevigata, considered the National Treasure of Japan, is a pair of six-panel folding screens, Irises, in colour on paper with a golden background, by Japanese painter Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716).