Part VII: The Japanese Style Garden at Brookside Gardens.

The Japanese Style Garden © Britt Conley
The Japanese Style Garden © Britt Conley

The Gude Garden takes up approximately 9 acres, an entire wing of Brookside Gardens. It’s circumference is the paved Heart Smart Trail used by walkers and joggers. This a lovely space for a stroll. This Japanese style garden area is entered by the Reflection Terrace which leads visitors over a stepping stone walking path toward the Japanese Tea House.

This walkway sets the mood for what is to come © Britt Conley
This walkway sets the mood for what is to come © Britt Conley
The Japanese Tea House sits on the island in the middle of the garden © Britt Conley
The Japanese Tea House sits on the island in the middle of the garden © Britt Conley

According to Brookside, “the Gude Garden was created as a memorial to Adolph Gude, Sr. who was a prominent local nurseryman. M-NCPPC landscape architect Hans Hanses designed the Japanese-style landscape of soft rolling hills and ponds as well as the Japanese Teahouse overlooking the ponds. The Teahouse is located on an island planted with bamboo, unusual conifers, and ground covers. The Gude family donated many of the specimen trees and shrubs, including the beech trees, blue Atlas cedars, southern magnolia, and most of the conifers on the island. The Kousa dogwood collection was added in 1991. Over the years, the ponds have become home to many species of wildlife and colorful Japanese carp (koi) donated from private collections.”

The Commemorative Plate © Britt Conley
The Commemorative Plate © Britt Conley

Just past the Japanese style garden is The Bridge to Understanding built to commemorate 25 years of friendship between the American Girls Scouts of Yokosuka Japan and the Japanese Girl scouts of Kiryu Japan.

The Bridge to Understanding © Britt Conley
The Bridge to Understanding © Britt Conley

Crossing this bridge takes us over to the Labyrinth, a lovely meditative garden which one slowly walks within via eight concentric rings that lead us toward the center.

The Labyrinth © Britt Conley
The Labyrinth © Britt Conley
It is a rather relaxing journey! © Britt Conley
It is a rather relaxing journey! © Britt Conley

Over all it’s a lovely place to walk with stunning views and a lovely waterway that is a haven for waterfowl of various types.

The view while walking around this garden is stunning © Britt Conley
The view while walking around this garden is stunning © Britt Conley

I stumbled upon these feeding Mallard Ducks last week enjoying the Fall.

Mallard Ducks enjoying lunch © Britt Conley
Mallard Ducks enjoying lunch © Britt Conley

If you’re looking for a great place that offers peace of mind and relaxation I would have to say Brookside Gardens has it all and then some.

The water offers perfect reflections © Britt Conley
The water offers perfect reflections © Britt Conley

Well, this concludes our week at Brookside Gardens. As I travel from garden to garden I am continually surprised by how wonderful and unique each one is and Brookside is without a doubt a treat. I will be back many times over throughout the year to experience it’s full potential.

As always, for information go to www.brooksidegardens.com

Tomorrow starts a new week, which means there’s a new garden! The Bee is buzzing over to Richmond for an up close look at Lewis Ginter Botantical Garden. I hope you can join me.

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

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