Thursday, April 29, 2010
Looking at this picture, with cool water flowing over granite boulders surrounded by lush vegetation, where do you guess it might be? Here are a couple of other clues:
A koi pond:
Somewhere in Japan maybe? Thailand? China? Actually, these photos are from Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, built right on top of the Highway 202 tunnel at Roosevelt and 3rd Avenue. This little oasis includes a traditional Japanese tea house, over 70 species of plants, including a small bamboo forest, and numerous traditional sculptures from the sister city of Himeji.
The most remarkable thing about this garden are that you can wander through the place and have no idea that you are in Phoenix Arizona. It really is as if someone lifted a chunk of Japan and transplanted it here in the Sonoran Desert. Every square inch of the place is landscaped. Each boulder in the waterfall was carefully selected and shipped to downtown Phoenix from elsewhere. The water is piped in from the Salt River. Fish, lilies and bamboo were imported from Asia. River polished rocks gathered from an unknown distant shore are carefully arranged in patterns around the pond and garden borders. The tea house was hand built by Japanese artisans. Not a single saguaro or any other cactus in sight.
Yet just below, heavy traffic rumbles through a mile long six lane tunnel between 7th Avenue and 7th Street.
I am awed at what we can create, both tunnel and garden.