Artistic designs raked in fine gravel around carefully placed boulders offer peaceful settings for contemplation gardens. Known as karesansui (pronounced car-uh-san-swee), the dry landscape gardens are a centuries-old tradition in Japan but rare in the United States.
Soon, however, Oak Ridge will have its own karesansui garden. As landscaping begins around the International Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion in Oak Ridge, the Japanese karesansui gardens will lend a distinctive and contemplative element to the Oak Ridge landmark.
Introducing the gardens to Oak Ridge will be Martin McKellar, retired from the University of Florida International Center and now a volunteer as the Asian garden specialist at the university’s Harn art museum. He will present a public talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 24, on “Dry Landscape Gardens around the World and in Oak Ridge” at the University of Tennessee Arboretum auditorium, which is at 901 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge.
The karesansui gardens at the Friendship Bell site will be maintained by volunteers who learn the skills to create the designs and maintain the gardens for the city. McKellar will hold four-hour training sessions for volunteers interested in designing, raking, and taking care of the Oak Ridge karesansui gardens on at 1 p.m. Friday, January 25, and at 8:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26. [Read more…]