Garden of the Month: October 2021

The Garden of the Month for October 2021 is the Takata Garden!

Welcome to the Takata Japanese Garden as it transitions into its autumn glory. Wander the meandering trails and take in the beauty of the stunning colours of the maples (Acer) and Ginkgo biloba trees. Do not be surprised as you travel the paths through the garden to suddenly think you are near a bakery. You are being treated to the caramel aroma of the Japanese Katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum). The wonderfully appetizing smell is emitted as the leaves turn to a gorgeous golden colour.

Pause on the Moon Bridge to listen to the stream flowing over the rocks as it makes its way through the garden. Take a break on one of the many benches scattered throughout the garden. Near the lower pond, contemplate the Zen garden with the rock turtle, a sacred symbol of Japan and admire the sheltering belt of giant grass Miscanthus x giganteus that has reached its annual height of over 4 metres and is now beginning to flower. We harvest it in January each year to create the fences throughout the Garden and enjoy watching it grow each summer to its current spectacular dimensions.

The various elements of nature – water, earth, stone, light and specific perennials, shrubs and trees – many pruned and shaped – are all present to offer a place of respite and rejuvenation. The winding trails and zigzag bridge designed to discourage evil spirits, the strategic placement of stone ornaments and the restful sounds of running water all serve to create the serenity that is prevalent in Japanese gardens.

The Takata Japanese Garden is named in honour of the Takata Family, whose Japanese Garden and Teahouse was a popular feature of the Esquimalt Gorge Park from 1907 to 1942. It utilizes local talent, materials and structures to emulate the gardens of Japan and is tended lovingly and respectfully by a dedicated group of volunteer gardeners.

This information is available as a handout from the front desk (or click here to download).