Nature Walks – Morikami Japanese Gardens


Nature Walk – Morikami Japanese Gardens

Clouds were pouring in from the ocean this morning, but the temperature was fine, so I thought I would venture forth to Morikami Gardens, a local Japanese Garden and Museum.  The gardens offer year-round programs, Tea Ceremonies, and tours, but I opted for the singular tour on my own.


The Gardens did sustain some damage from the recent hurricane in September, but on the whole, was looking okay.  Some of the pine trees were a little sparse and other trees looked a bit wind-swept.  There were some broken trees and bamboo, but in the nearly two months post-hurricane, it appears that a lot of work has been done by the garden staff.


Yesterday I watched the 1980 movie version of “Shogun”, which put me in the mood for walking through a Japanese garden.











In the past, I’ve visited Japanese Gardens in several cities, including Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, but the Gardens in Boca Raton are unique in that the setting is sub-tropical, meaning the typical plant material found in the northern gardens will not grow in Florida.  So different plants are utilized, along with the pines, grasses and azaleas also found in northern gardens.  The gardens also present a perspective on the development of the Japanese Garden, from early times into the present.  There is an assortment of water features, a couple of Zen gardens, a beautiful bonsai collection and interesting buildings.  Natural materials like large rocks, bamboo, and wood posts are utilized throughout the gardens.  A small grove of beautiful timber bamboo supplies much of the material for fences and gates.

At the end of your tour of the Gardens, you can sit down to eat at the cafe, visit the Museum Store, watch a movie presentation on the founding of the gardens or visit the museum.  Today the museum was featuring “Indigo Blues”, a collection of Japanese textiles, one of my great loves.  The detail and thought that went into even the simplest garments were extremely impressive.  The Japanese were very thrifty, as well, utilizing and re-using old materials again and again.  Their primary fabrics were made of hemp, cotton, and silk.  Japanese textiles were an inspiration for a variety of 19th century Europeans artists, going into the early 20th century, as well.

All in all, today was well spent outside in beautiful natural settings, taking in stylized plantings and design.  The weather also improved as the day went on, the heavy dark clouds making way for white fluffies and bluebird skies.

How about that– I was out on three separate outings this week!  My energy levels and enthusiasm increases as the temperatures decrease.  I’ll enjoy autumn and winter here in Florida.

Have a great weekend, folks, wherever you live!


Eliza Ayres

© All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres,

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