Thyme on 43rd Japanese Gardens, designed and constructed by Hayato Ogawa of Ogawa Landscape Design, has all the elements you would expect to find in a Japanese stroll garden. Hayato brought to this Canadian Gem, located in Langley, BC, the techniques and tools used by his ancestors since the 16oo’s.
These special techniques are seen in various structures, the entrance gate with its unique stone pillars and cedar shake roof, the Azumaya gazebo with its hand milled, hand carved beams mixed with bamboo and string from Japan. The tile ridge caps on these structures were acquired from temples in Japan. The stone pump house, the natural stone and stepping stone pathways, long curved stone bench, various walls and patios display his talented stonework.
Each plant, tree and stone was carefully hand chosen for its unique character and placement in the garden. Too many species to mention, some native to Japan and some to North America, bring delight to the garden in every season. Japanese red, white, black pine, azaleas, rhodos, acers, ferns, hydrangea, and thyme are a few but, best of all, you are sure to discover something you haven’t seen before!
Water features have been strategically placed throughout, which add to the tranquil setting. A small waterfall trickles into a seventy foot long pebble stream that flows into a pond over which a wood bridge was built connecting the pathways. A grand waterfall cascades into a koi pond which can be enjoyed from a large patio or stone bench which is covered with a living roof of sedums which blooms yellow, pink and white in the summer. Elsewhere, antique basins and pots are filled with water via bamboo spouts.
After five years of much thought, planning and hard work of a true craftsman the garden is now ready to be enjoyed by all who enter through its gates.
While you wander the gardens you will get a feeling that time stands still and a sense that this is truly a place where body and nature harmonize.
Fun Facts About Thyme On 43rd
- It took 6 years to construct the garden (including land clearing).
- The garden was built with no written plans; it was built entirely according to Japanese craftsmen’s tradition of attuning to nature which dictates both the design and construction.
- Every stone, was hand chosen from a private quarry in Whistler, B.C.
- Every plant and tree were hand chosen to guarantee shape (form) and health of the plant. The plants & stones told Mr. Ogawa where they needed to be placed.
- Mr. Ogawa used hand tools which he had brought from Japan to form all stone walls, water basins, and pathways including the stone pump house and curved stone bench.
Main features of the garden include:
- Front Entrance Gate (four pillars, all different designs)
- Small waterfall feeding seventy- foot long alpine-style stream
- Azumaya Gazebo
- Modern Japanese Bridge
- Stone Pump House
- Main waterfall, three falls cascading into large Koi pond
- Pavilion covering a large curved stone bench
- Japanese style electrical building
- The garden features two living roofs of sedums, saxifraga and sempervivum. The pump house & Pavilion with its unique, curved shape make it the largest private living roof in North America.
- Photographed for- Live Roof Magazine 2015
- An environmentally friendly membrane was used for water proofing the koi pond.
- The door of the Pump House was created using special Japanese techniques of burning wood, brushing many times, known as shou sugi ban.
- Hard to find trees include: Japanese black pine, Stewartia monadelpha, Acer palmatum ko to no it, Acer plamatum kinran, and Japanese Red Pine.
- Japanese method of transplanting trees – cutting roots one and a half years before transplanting and wrapping root balls in burlap. The oldest tree imported from Japan, Acer Palmatum Linearilobum, was 125 years old when it arrived.
- A Tripod with chain and block were used to move stones, up to five tons each, by hand.
- All garden structures feature precise joinery and were built without the use of nails.
- The main waterfall required 52 cubic meters of concrete and several tons of rebar before the stones could be placed using a 69 ft. tall self-erecting crane.
- The tile ridge cap at the front entrance gate and the Azumaya Gazebo were purchased from a temple in Japan.
- The string and bamboo in the Azumaya Gazebo were also purchased from Japan.
- Mr Hayato Ogawa was awarded the 2013 Grand Award of Excellence with Thyme on 43rd from the BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA)