The garden of Gleb Uspensky

 

The Japanese gardens in Russia

The area of the garden is 9 ares

The year of the beginning of its creation is 2010

Garden of Gleb is located near St. Petersburg. The initial idea of the development of the plan was to create a pond with koi carps to enjoy it at any time of the year. Therefore, the garden was given a suitable name - the Garden of Water and Hills.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The original version of the pond was simple, in a form of a slightly curved oval. One of the banks Gleb covered by wooden walkways with the deck in the center where they could relax near the water. The other shore he covered by gravel.  Even then you could feel a hint of Japan in the garden. But, as it turned out, soon it turned into a real Japanese miracle.

Several times Gleb went to Japan, he visited many gardens, both known and little-publicized. Under the influence of these trips his garden began to change. The first was changed the main character. Instead of a small pond we can see now a real natural pond of complex shapes with smooth coastlines, with bays and islands, with flowing streams, with rocks protruding from the water and resembling sunken crags. Wooden walkways are gone, and now the bottom and the coast covered by beautiful rounded pebbles. Such pavement can often be found in Japanese gardens for strolling.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The banks are connected to each other by two bridges. The first one is flat, made of a large solid piece of stone.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The second one is wooden semicircular. Its lower part is decorated with bamboo. Near this bridge, on the protruding rock, is hiding a small Japanese stone lantern.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Gleb uses in the garden mainly two types of stone: dark shungite and light Adygean Stepnyak. He manages to combine harmoniously the stones so that they look as a whole, embodying the concept of yin-yang.  Gleb says that working with stone he is guided by feeling and intuition, but this was preceded by a thorough study and analysis of the gardens, seen in Japan, multiple viewing photos, books and magazines. That is why each of the stones stands where it should be; their position is clear and logical.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb surrounded by neighbor's sites. That's why the fence here is quite high, more than two meters. The design of one of the neighboring sites Gleb turned into a continuation of his garden, making it in the Japanese style too.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

To enter this garden you have to pass through the covered gates. The fence and the gate are decorated with reed mats and thick bamboo trunks. At the top of the fence there is also the bamboo trunk. He covered by metal chute. In our climate bamboo gets dark and covered with spots, so you need to clean it off almost every year. Besides it is necessary to make sure that in the winter the water does not stagnate in the trunks of bamboo, or, when it freezes, ice can split them. Such protection from the top certainly facilitates maintenance and prolongs the life of bamboo.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

There is a gazebo in the garden, a small wooden building with a hipped roof. It looks very simple, and if it were not open front, it would remind me of romantic rustic huts of the 16th century. One of the walls has a small circular window. Gazebo covered with lianas. This modest house for tea drinking fits excellent to the Japanese garden.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Despite the garden seems very natural, a closer look reveals that almost every tree or bush is formed by Gleb or by his wife Ekatherina. Sometimes we can see really unexpected solutions. So, after one of his trips to Japan, where Gleb's family was admiring the cherry blossoms, he decided to change the form of the old apple trees. Gleb removed all upright growing branches, as well as extra, thickening branches, and has since then the apple trees evolved into sakuras with curved shapes.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

There are also a lot of clipped plants in the garden. In most cases, these are Japanese spirea. Somewhere they form a single array, somewhere they are clipped as hemisphere. Gleb prefer to use Japanese spiraea «Japanese Dwarf», because it is easy to make the dense karikomi from it (formed in the form of dense cushions of shrubs or hedges). But he use and another varieties, such as «Little Princess», «Golden Princess», «Goldflame». Pines and junipers ar also formed in the Japanese style.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

There are a couple of dragons in the garden.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

One of the main features of this garden which attracts me very much is the bold design solutions. Gleb is not afraid to use in his garden such elements, which many of people have tried to avoid for fear of inconsistency of garden and the environment. But the author of the garden makes it so tactfully and so consciously that all the details look very organically and naturally. However, it should be noted that the architecture of the buildings helps in this; all the buildings on the site are looks like Japanese houses. It seems to me that, having been in Japan, Gleb just wanted to live in this fairy-tale world, and he began to create this world on his site, thus proving that we can build a gorgeous Japanese garden in Russia.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

That bold decision, first of all, is the way he did the part of the garden near the baths. Since Gleb and his family are fans of Japanese baths, he decided to create in this area rotenburo. As it is known, Japan is famous for its hot springs, or onsens. Just as we go on vacation to the sea, the Japanese spend their weekends in the geothermal springs, where they can not only relax, but also to improve their health. Onsen can be placed both indoors and outdoors. The last ones are called rotenburo.

Onsen area in the garden of Gleb is fenced by low bamboo fence. The bottom of the rotenburo is lined with the same pebbles that we saw around the pond adjoining the bath.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Three hours before bathing Gleb melts wood-burning stove to heat the water in a special wooden containers (ofuro) of larch. Then the water flow by gravity into the rotenburo through a pipe with a slope.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

After use, typically on the next day, when the water cools, it merges by pump. The waterfall in the rotenburo has a name "The Refuge of Sleeping Dragon".

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Surroundings of onsen are similar to that commonly found in Japanese ryokan located at the hot springs. Sitting in the water, you can admire the pond and a beautiful garden; behind the bath near the fence covered with bamboo mats, there is a stone bowl chozubachi; and on the right side you can see a part of stone garden.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The path leads from the garden of stones to the woodpile.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Beyond the corner, to the right there is an abstract composition of black stones. Here are no other plants except an elegant maple. His gentle contours contrast with the strict geometry of the stone path, with the lines of fence and with stones as well. And this lone touching maple becomes the final touch needed to complete the picture of the Japanese garden.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

We pass the Japanese fences sode-gaki of different heights and find ourselves at the exit.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

But the garden does not end there. The fence on the outside is covered with reed mats, as if preparing visitors for what awaits them inside. And in the distance can be seen the Japanese gates torii.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

As a rule, thorium in Japan is placed in the temple gardens. Here the torii lead to the sacred forest.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

Once Gleb said that, having talking to the Japanese garden designer, he was trying to figure out the right place for each stone. This designer replied: "What's the difference?  I put the stones so that it would be beautiful". Maybe. But I think that the Japanese was being cunning. Because to create beauty as they do, you need to feel and to understand the Japanese garden. And the understanding is still based on the knowledge. So, if you have the knowledge, then you can use your senses and intuition to make such a beautiful garden, as the Garden of Water and Hills.

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The garden of Gleb Uspensky

The Japanese gardens in Russia

Photo & text: Irina Andrianova

 

anshin - a peace of mindanshin©2011All rights reserved. When using the materials of the site, reference is obligatory.
Proposals for co-operation, as well as comments and suggestions on the site please send to the address: anshin-sad@mail.ru

tel: +7 (965) 121-80-60, 10am-20pm