Closed Nov 1 - Mar 1
9am - 5pm Mar 1 - June 1, Sept 1 - Nov 1
9am - 8pm June 2 - Aug 31
Added to JGarden:
The garden covers three acres behind Bennett Fountain on Queensway (just off Water Street) near the downtown, not far from the Railway Station. It includes a pond, waterfall, and stone garden covering three acres. It was built as part of a sister-city relationship with Kasugai, Japan.
This is an amazing garden. It lies inside a walled enclosure next to the City Hall of Kelowna, British Columbia. If you drove by on the nearby commercial street, you'd never realize it was even there. You need to walk by the large Bennett Fountain with its skateboarding denizens, down the tree-lined path between the walls and the City Hall to the large wooden gates, marked by a dedication plaque. The garden itself is lively with a diversity of people and animals. On the day I was there, I saw people visiting City Hall, middle school students on their way home filling up plastic water bottles along the way,a homeless person drinking out the bamboo fountain, a couple with their children strolling the paths, rollerblading thrashers drinking beer behind the reeds along the stream, ducks, koi and chipmunks. In other words, this isn't a precious garden that's been either exoticized or put on an artistic pedestal. Rather, it is part of the everyday life of the citizens of Kelowna.
The garden is a well-designed example of a Japanese-inspired garden. It beautifully integrates stone, water, plants, walls, paths and people. It's design encompasses many possible interpretations and, thankfully, there are no signs explaining how we should interpret the space. A path meanders along the outside edge of the entire space. As you enter , the path begins with a dry garden on the right. This then continues around counterclockwise around one side of a reed-enshrouded stream, across a small bridge to the other side of the stream and then along the wall opposite from the entrance. A larger bridge presents itself part way along the walk, giving you a choice of continuing in this circular path or of cutting back to the opposite side. The far end of the garden includes a waterfall that cascades over rocks into a large pond. The path circles around the pond and back toward the entrance, passing by a pavilion, a bamboo fountain and other features along the way.
Visited 1 September 2000, 3pm.
Saihoji Temple, Kyoto
Actuality is emblem here: a walled-in garden
With its hieroglyph of the heart a lake with lotuses,
And its stones and trees a figure of ascent
From painted maze and sensuous paradise
To the Pure Land of the mind, the interior garden.
All paths wind inward to this inward mirror --
Reflecting-pool of primitive solitude --
Where the mind, quiescent, meditates its shadow,
In the garden's Heart this cipher of the heart.
Some bonze cropped bald by wisdom's scythe, to glean
In Chinese glaosses on the Sakya sage
Reality's scattered kernels, planted here
A green and less laborious commentary:
Perpetual witness of the perfect stillness.
Only the moss speaks still, a living scroll;
From the lakeshore to the hillside a silver-green
Page of continuous discourse where the foot moves
More soundlessly that thought along the paths laid
Over ten centuries ago
For the saints rehearsing sutras.
Their path unfolding in a single text,
They moved on an obscure way more quietly
Than the arhat's mantras or the lohan's prayer;
And bruised no stone, no grasses in their passing,
The ground of their desire inviolate.
Nameless, they merged into indifferent turf,
Engrossed in one impartite grace of green,
Their separate deaths lost in this single life --
Men without memory, without distinction.
Though earth assumes them like a scroll rolled up,
The path is fragrant still because they passed here.