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Tea Gardens - Inspiration to the World

Updated on February 23, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.

Tea Gardens Inspire

Tea gardens captivated and fascinated 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 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. You experience the setting fully and see 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 someone special.

© 2017 Kenna McHugh

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    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      8 months ago from Northern California

      I am curious as to what kind of tea you are enjoying.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      8 months ago from Northern California

      Mary, I know what you mean. Tea gardens are calming and rehabilitating. Though, I am curious, what kind of tea are you enjoying?

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am having tea now and enjoying it though it would have been better in a tea garden.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      14 months ago from Northern California

      manatita44,

      Thanks for sharing your comments. Yes. Japan and English Tea Gardens are quite different. Japan is more spiritual while English is more traditional. Both are beneficial to life and livingness.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      14 months ago from london

      Yes, it's like a meditation and very relaxing. I did not know that much about this English side of it, but it's perfected in Japan. Still, I really love the English countryside and the tea and scones there are so much better. The cafe's are cozy and relaxing too.

      Nice Hub.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      14 months ago from Northern California

      I had so much fun writing this article because I would love to have a tea garden.

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