Tea Gardens - Inspiration to the World
Tea Gardens Inspire
Tea gardens captivate and fascinate people who enjoy drinking tea in a garden and then leisurely walk around viewing statues, ponds, and flora. Whether they are indoors or outdoors, tea gardens bring centuries of inspiration to the world.
Bring cognitive inspiration and emotional response within the viewer is the philosophy of the tea garden. A meeting place for sharing each other's difficult experiences or problems.
For centuries in England, tea gardens accommodations were opened all over the country with tea being served every afternoon for social and comforting interaction and then dancing in the gardens.
Tea began in China over 5,000 years ago. The Chinese believe in order to understand what makes the environment harmonious we need to have a good sense of perception regarding both the natural environment and the man-made environment.
“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Centuries of Tradition
Tea began in China over 5,000 years ago. The Chinese believe in order to understand what makes the environment harmonious we need to have a good sense of perception regarding both the natural environment and the man-made environment. To do that, we must unite ourselves with the greater wholeness around us. The Chinese use Yin-Yang theory to interpret our environment.
For example, the mountain creates a shadow, which is called “Yin” or "negative object.” Water provides nutrients for plants to grow which is called “Yang” or “positive object.” Mountain and water together are Yin and Yang. The degree of harmony in an individual place is solely dependent on the balance of Yin and Yang. The Chinese influenced the first traditional tea gardens of Japan.
Having picked some tea, he drank it,
Then he sprouted wings,
And flew to a fairy mansion,
To escape the emptiness of the world...— Chiao Jen
Japanese Way of Life
The underlying foundations for a Japanese tea garden are the essential belief and cultural understanding that man and nature are one. The philosophy of the tea garden is to inspire a cognitive and emotive response within the viewer, creating a scene in the viewer's mind.
While some places make you feel tense or drained, other places will bring you a feeling of relaxation or renewed energy. That’s because our physical surrounding has a little known but powerful influence on us. Drinking tea alone or with a friend in a garden is symbolic of achieving tranquility and calmness within as well as without.
“A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy."— Rumer Godden found in Power of Simple Living by Ellyn Sanna ― Rumer Godden
English Way of Life
Historically, English tea gardens were revered, like the Asian heritage, as a place to reflect, relax and inspire from a long day of work. In the 1730s, tea gardens were opened all over England with tea being served every afternoon and then dancing in the gardens. It was like a garden party. The idea of a tea dance blossomed and tea dances still remain fashionable today. Yet, the English, as a custom today, is known for drinking cups of tea throughout the day.
Visit a Local Tea Garden
The only way to understand the ritual of being in a tea garden is to visit one. You can spend the afternoon sipping tea and walking around the garden, enjoying the atmosphere, following the path you yearn, arriving at the pond or near the statues. Once you experience the setting fully, ask yourself and your companion if going through this ritual is beneficial. Does it relax you? Inspire you?
If you are moved in a positive way, then perhaps you might want to periodically return and even share the experience with family and friends.
© 2017 Kenna McHugh