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Japanese Garden Design, Perception, and Wellness

04/05/16 | View Comments

Within the theory and practice of garden design exists the concept of ‘patterns’. Patterns are not rules, but general guidelines suggesting how people and a setting can be ‘in sync’. Some patterns suggest ways in which a green space can provide healing benefit to visitors. For example, the pattern ‘Wondering in Small Spaces’ describes how even small green spaces can be designed in such a way to evoke the imagination (mental wondering) or provide viewpoints where visitors survey the garden’s extent, feeling secure and inspired. Consider an experience in a Japanese garden:

The mind wonders when the eyes perceive a landscape filtered through the lacy leaves of a Japanese Maple. Intimate, smooth paths wind around a bend into a hidden nook. A bamboo water fountain clanks as the weight of the water rolls through it.

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