Friday, August 19, 2016

Crossroads

While visiting Shofuso Garden in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to search for other Japanese gardens that were in the area. One such garden was the Gertrude Chattin Teaf Memorial Garden (sometimes referred to as Zen Garden) at Haverford College.

Haverford College is without a doubt, a spectacular place to visit. Its campus is essentially one large arboretum worthy of visit by anyone interested in the study/admiration of trees. 

The Zen garden in particular was the result of a gift of Dr. Howard M. Teaf who wanted to establish  a memorial to his wife. The garden was dedicated in November of 1990. 

I located the garden behind the Dining Center, a small niche along the edge of a shady corner of the campus. Once there, I also discovered a visitors guide holder with one of the best designed guides I have ever encountered at a garden.





The garden itself had the makings of a very nice Zen garden - the placement of plantings, hardscape, and stone features was well designed. 


click here to see panoramic image 
However, it was apparent that some of the stone items were no longer in their original settings and the grounds were being poorly maintained. It looked as if the garden had not been raked of leaves for some time. 







Additionally, the water feature near the stone lantern appeared to be no longer functioning and in need of maintenance. It was a bit unfortunate, the garden had a solid layout and "bones." It just needed some loving care and attention. 



I especially liked the roadside stone deity (Dososhin) - it depicts both male and female. subjects.




click here to see panoramic image

Given the degree to which the remainder of the campus was being meticulously maintained, the neglect was a bit of a surprise (especially given that classes start in one week). Perhaps in the future, some students will adopt the garden and help bring it back to it's one time beauty.

2 comments:

  1. I live not far from Philadelphia but have not heard of these gardens before. Thanks for posting! Perhaps I can get there myself in the near future. Your photos are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I live not far from Philadelphia but have not heard of these gardens before. Thanks for posting! Perhaps I can get there myself in the near future. Your photos are lovely!

    ReplyDelete