Taking advantage of my trip to Quebec, I went to the island of Montreal to visit the Japanese garden of the city’s large botanical garden.
Around a pavilion of beautiful architecture, as a showcase of Japanese culture and built by Hisato Hiraoka, I could discover in turn an elegant karesansui, then a beautiful and charming tea garden, and finally a large garden walk around a pond with waterfalls, directed by Ken Nakajima (1914-2000), Japanese landscape architect living in Toronto. A myriad of koi carps, some of which measure no more than 2cm, accompany us all the way. The whole garden is bordered by a beautiful forest of North American red pines.
And I even had the chance to enjoy a private tour of the tea garden, which is only a garden of contemplation in normal times.
This garden is really a very beautiful space present on the American continent, created mainly with endemic plants and rocks of the region (the gravel, on the other hand, comes from Japan – I would recognize it between thousands …).
The proof, once again, that it is possible to create a real Japanese garden in the West from the moment when, staying away from clichés, we respect the rules and first of all, its spirit!