My visit to Japan last fall included a number of visits to Mr. Moriyama’s garden. Often there were trees to pick up or drop off so we’d swing by on our way elsewhere. Other days we’d stay awhile – like the day we helped reorganize a section of the garden and tied trees to benches. One visit was just for fun. We walked around, took pictures, and enjoyed tea and snacks. It was a beautiful fall day.
Up close, it was often hard to tell where one tree stopped and another tree started. Smack in the center of the photo below is a large and well-known Chinese quince.
From a few paces back, it was easier to appreciate the miniature forest that was Mr. Moriyama’s garden.
Mr. Moriyama’s favorite trees
The garden itself was one of the more attractive spaces I visited that featured both bonsai and landscape trees. Large stones and well-cared for trees defined the garden and kept local gardeners – and apprentices – busy throughout the year.
A large white pine and relatively small black pine bonsai
Just inside the front gate, a beautiful black pine greeted all visitors.
Boon and the great black pine
The same pine from the left side
From some vantage points, it was hard to distinguish bonsai from the surrounding landscape trees.
Peter Tea and the trees
In addition to the garden area pictured above, Moriyama’s property included a backyard and small rooftop garden. Azaleas and deciduous trees filled most of the backyard.
Azaleas and maples
Wall of maples
Back out front, we found our host and the other guests contemplating any number of things bonsai related.
A large white pine, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Moriyama look West
Although the camera makes the tree look a little larger than it really is, the exaggeration is subtle – it’s a big tree.
A Boon double-take – the same white pine from the front
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