We can be such slow learners. We had visited several gardens on this trip, but not until we had wandered along the paths of the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney (Australia) did we finally put it all together.
We had thought the (only and best) way to plan a garden was to base the plantings on size, color, and what’s blooming when. After visiting a number of great gardens on this trip, we finally realized that yet another factor for consideration when planning a garden is using the symbolic meaning of flowers, trees, and settings as a guide.
What meaning does each plant bring into the garden that we are planning? We hadn’t asked ourselves that question, but, now, we will.
Pines symbolize endurance; bamboo symbolizes longevity and humility; stones in grouping symbolize mountains.
Reading the wonderful novel, “The Language of Flowers,” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, we became familiar with the concept that historically each flower has a symbolic meaning. In addition to the introduction of meaning in our garden, we also want to ask ourselves, “How do we plant a flower garden to be in harmony and balance, as well planning and planting it with meaning?”
The design of the Chinese Garden of Friendship was based on the principles of “Yin-Yang.” When earth, fire, water, metal, wood are present, harmony and balance reign.
We might choose the white rose, symbolizing purity, or wisteria, symbolizing steadfastness, or jasmine for grace and elegance.
Red roses symbolize desire. We’re not sure about that one fitting into a garden’s serenity theme, maybe not.
We’ve loved the gardens that we’ve visited and hope that we too can get back to gardening someday. First, we’ll have to travel less and settle somewhere. When we do plant that garden, we’ll do it with meaning.