I may be remembering incorrectly, but I believe there was a special significance to the rock under the bamboo spout. I think it was donated from a garden or temple in Japan, perhaps, or something of that nature. I believe the purpose of this stone and water and the entrance to the garden, was for visitors to cleanse themselves before entering the garden and enter in tranquility. At least that sounds nice. Nothing like a foggy memory to ruin a good story!
Square pavers set into a small lawn...hmm, remind you of another garden belonging to a certain blogger? What you won't find much of in that garden though, is the big, lush rhododendrons that surrounded this little alcove off of the path.
Our friend the Stewartia continues to follow us on our visit to Martha's Vineyard. I just love these trees.
The native white pines with their naturally tiered branches lend themselves to an informal Japanese garden. The coastal winds add a bit of a windswept where ever the trees are exposed, giving them additional interest. The garden has a large pond, complete with an island and a zigzag bridge. The sharp turns of this style of bridge are thought to prevent evil spirits from crossing. I guess evil spirits tend to be a little tipsy.
Ground-covering junipers, towards the top of the slope in the picture below, are used to great effect here, forming a lovely carpet beneath the larger plants. Two red Japanese maples, with a larger, bright green one overhead, add some variations in color against the backdrop of Thuja and other conifers.
More low-growing juniper, flowing down a slope and providing another alcove with a view deeper into the surrounding green. The placement of stone is very important in Japanese gardens.
Water, both flowing and still, is another important component in Japanese gardens. The next few pictures highlight the reflections of the garden in the large pond. An inverted world appears in the surface of the water, disturbed by wind but at times a perfect reflection.
Another view of the bridge and a good example of the windswept look of the pines, shaped by the constant winds from the ocean.
I loved this group of heathers and dwarf conifers with rhododendrons in the background. In my own garden, it would be broken up with a little more variety in texture and color, but here it continues the relaxing green feeling of the garden. I especially like the dwarf larch in the front.
A view partially through a Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar) provides another view down into the garden, with part of the bridge and pond just visible.
More carefully-tended and shaped gorgeous greenery.
Nearing the end of our tour of Mytoi, we walked up a path with a shallow stream running right alongside it. Alchemilla mollis, or lady's mantle, ferns, and rhododendrons grow along it, occasionally dipping leaf or branch into the flow of the water.
The source of the stream is a pretty natural-looking spring bubbling up from the rocks under the shelter and twisting branches of a large rhododendron.
Mytoi Gardens is a serene place, simultaneously offering expansive views, twisting paths, and secret nooks, offering many environments for people to relax and find peace. Here you can feel free from your constraints, find yourself in the twists of your thoughts, or find a peaceful alcove to center yourself.
This turned out to be the perfect garden to revisit today. I'm full of frenetic and nervous energy. It's mostly a good energy (at least I'm hoping it's good), but it needs some calming nonetheless, or else I'll never get to sleep!