Personal Perspective: My Trip to Japan……


In October, I returned from an extraordinary trip to Japan where I explored many remarkable gardens, including the garden at the Renge-ji Temple. Renge-ji Temple is a minimalist Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect, located in northeast Kyoto.

The garden’s central area includes a pond filled by water that flows from the northern mountains; the backdrop is provided by plantings on the shore and the hillside. The stones, bridge, and plantings are mirrored perfectly in their reflections on the water’s surface.  The gardens combine rocks, trees, shrubs and moss, creating a layered and lush forest landscape.

Japan was inspirational – the mindfulness of the people and their deep appreciation for the importance of exterior space, regardless of scale, is wonderful and fulfilling.

About Virginia Burt
Virginia Burt, FCSLA, FASLA, creates landscapes and gardens of meaning for residential clients, healthcare facilities, and academic and governmental organizations. Virginia graduated with honors from University of Guelph in 1985 and worked in offices in Aspen, Colorado and Toronto, Ontario before founding Virginia Burt Designs in 1996.  Virginia’s love of the land, the inspiration for her work, began early in her life.  Growing up on an apple farm Virginia developed a passion for being outside and understanding the rhythms of nature.   For more than 30 years, Virginia’s design philosophy has reflected these roots, enabling her to create gardens and landscapes that reveal their natural context and sensitively reflect and support those who use them.

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