Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Art of Japanese Landscaping and Bonsai

Gardeners around the world appreciate and cultivate natural beauty in many forms, whether in formal French or Italian styles, the casual riot of colors in English cottage gardens, rainbows of Dutch bulbs, informal wildflower meadows, or neat rows of edible fruits and vegetables.

However, interest in Bonsai and Japanese gardening is gaining popularity worldwide, in part because it seeks to capture and celebrate the splendor and variety of the universe in a microcosm, recognizing that everything- plants, people, even inanimate objects like stones and mountains- contain a dynamic, spiritual essence. And each element is symbolic of the whole and a worthy subject of respect and contemplation.

Japanese techniques do not imitate nature so much as they idealize it. By severely limiting its scope, one carefully pruned Bonsai tree can appear ancient and venerable, symbolizing all life in one tiny tray.

On a balcony or in the smallest courtyard, a well-chosen rock becomes a mountain, surrounded by skillfully placed gravel that seems to flow like water.

The serene stillness may be broken by the sound of running water, reminiscent of a waterfall, reminding us that nothing remains the same, that time is passing, and we live in a world which is impermanent, imperfect and incomplete. Understated elegance, simplicity, austerity, reduced scale, asymmetry and use of empty space combine to close out the hectic material world, focus attention on solitude, and the importance of living in this moment.

Join Master Gardeners Sylvia Kremp and Barbara Petrucci to experience a multi-sensory demonstration of these techniques and learn how to incorporate them into your home, creating a personal space for tranquility and transcendence.

Registration fee is $10 per person. Please call the Penn State Extension Office at 717-263-9226 to register.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 9:00 a.m.-11:00

Snow Date: February 23


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