I love Japanese Gardens. Have ever since I was a child. They tell stories, they lead you on little adventures, they’re mystical and calm and bright and peaceful all at once. I love them.
Japanese gardens are like the perfect screenplay: they tell stories visually, economically, using smaller symbols and moments to stand in for larger ones. Surprises are essential, and space gives a Japanese garden the feeling of freedom, just like in a good clean script with lots of white space. These gardens are designed to trigger emotions.
Making a Japanese garden is all about eliminating things from your garden and making the garden represent something else, such as a mountain or a forest or a grass land. But because the design is minimalist, a single rock can represent a mountain, and a single shrub an entire forest.
The point is to underwhelm the senses and allow the viewer to contemplate the story without being assaulted from all sides with color, texture and detail. It’s the opposite of Michael Bay gardening.