A Japanese Garden for all Generations
As a regular visitor of Hatley Castle and the Italian Garden, I never fully explored the surrounding grounds. I ventured further afield one pleasant October day and stumbled upon Hatley’s Japanese Garden. The Japanese maples were at their peak of autumnal dress and were aglow with foliage in fiery reds, golds, yellows and oranges. I was awestruck.
Paths and streams meander lazily throughout this expansive garden. It was built in two sections, years apart. The Upper Japanese Garden was built in 1909. It was designed by Isaburo Kishida, a Japanese landscape gardener. The bridges, gazebos, other structures and mature trees date back to that first garden. Stone lanterns guide the way through rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese cherry trees, irises, primroses in spring and Japanese maples.
The Lower Japanese Gardens took three years to build. It was finished in 1919. It encircles the lake with plantings of flowering cherries and rhododendrons. An arching bridge crosses the water to a 100-year-old rhododendron with a pavilion that juts out over the water. Water lilies dot the pond as fish hide in their shadows.
Whatever the season, this garden has such good bones that even in the dead of winter, it doesn’t disappoint. Foliage isn’t necessary when intricate and weeping trees and shrubs provide architectural interest. Their forms combine beautifully with the artistic stonework, stone ornaments and the numerous Asian structures. It really is a garden for all seasons. For more information please click on Hatley's Japanese Garden.