What a treat it was for our Florida IFDA members to have a guided tour by Freya through the incredible Morikami Japanese Gardens .   The designer of these gardens, Hoichi Kurisu said “My hope is that visitors will let the gardens speak to them of timeless truths and rhythms which can provide therapeutic insights for today.”

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This tree is being trained not as a Bonsai but to mimic the clouds in the sky.

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One of many beautiful bridges we crossed on our tour.

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We started our day with a delightful lunch at The Cornell Cafe overlooking the gardens.

We had heard that the very best guide was Freya. She was fabulous.  She gave such an informative and entertaining description of not only the gardens, but a history lesson and insights into the Japanese culture and philosophies.

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Here Freya tells about this lantern like the ones guided ships.

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All the bridges in the garden are different. This one is called the zig zag bridge. As in life, as we reach one point we then turn and face another direction, and so the view is changed as well.

 

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As you walk from one garden to another you cross from gravel, to stone to wood, letting you know a new experience is approaching.

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There was so much to see and learn. Freya had us captivated.

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The designer used pink rocks throughout the garden. They turn many colors as it ages.  In Japan age is revered.

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We saw many lanterns, each one more unique than the last.

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Freya described the design of a meditation garden. One was as you might see in a monastery and the other at a private residence. She told us about how the Japanese like to “hide and reveal”.

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We were told that the designer planned the pathway so as to direct they way we saw each garden (hide and reveal).  We were guided to waterfalls, across bridges, by streams and ponds, through bamboo forests, pine groves,  arbors and gates.  It was quite a journey.

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This pagoda was on a little heart shaped island and look at who was sunning itself that day.

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This arbor is still being retrained after damage by a hurricane. There are many weddings here and this is where the bride walks to make her entrance.

 

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This pretty gate beckons us. All the paths are gravel so that you can hear your footsteps on the earth. The Japanese believe in the deep connection between man and nature.

 

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The roof tiles we exceptional. It took three years to replace them after a hurricane a few years ago.

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The bamboo sang to us as they swayed in the breeze, knocking together in perfect rhythm.

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Cherry blossoms bloomed brightly against the brilliant sky.

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Freya entertained us with stories about the gods and other legends.

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This bush is called Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow because each day the color of the flowers changes from purple to lavender to white.

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The Bonsai Garden was fascinating.

 

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What an inspirational day. The Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens is a treasure right in our own backyard.

We learned so much that day including the quintessential Japanese aesthetic of “Wabu Sabi” which means rustic elegance in simple form.   As designers wouldn’t that be a unique  way to approach the design of a client’s home?

Many thanks to our member Lynn Sciarrone who organized this beautiful day for us. Thanks Lynn!

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