Monday, July 27, 2015
#443 Japanese Garden bridge, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Japanese Garden bridge, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
July 27, 2015, Keith Nelson, Rob Hickman
Done as part of 'Forbidden Pleasures', an annual event for BBG staff. Cycling is not permitted in the garden. Special Thanks to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Julie Lang and Scot Medbury.
View on Unicycle NYC Bridge Tour Map at: unibridgetour.net
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is one of the oldest and most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan. It is a blend of the ancient hill-and-pond style and the more recent stroll-garden style, in which various landscape features are gradually revealed along winding paths. The garden features artificial hills contoured around a pond, a waterfall, and an island while carefully placed rocks also play a leading role. Among the major architectural elements of the garden are wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, the torii or gateway, and a Shinto shrine.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is an excellent place to experience the cherry blossom season from April to May as over two dozen trees from BBG's diverse collection are planted here.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden. It was constructed in 1914 and 1915—at an initial cost of $13,000, a gift of early BBG benefactor and trustee Alfred T. White—and it first opened to the public in June 1915. It is considered to be the masterpiece of its creator, Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota (1881–1943). Shiota was born in a small village about 40 miles from Tokyo, and in his youth spent years traversing Japan on foot to explore the natural landscape. In 1907 he came to America, driven by an ambition to create, in his words, "a garden more beautiful than all others in the world."
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden underwent a major restoration in 1999 and 2000, with generous funding from the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, the New York State 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, Independence Community Foundation, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Auxiliary.