Failed Rock Gardens Of Japan

Nobody’s going to deny that rock gardens are one of the great art forms of Japan. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy an exquisitely designed miniature landscape of meticulously raked gravel…

…swirling around a few mindfully placed boulders?

Plus, compared to even your most basic Japanese garden, they’re really low-maintenance. I mean, once you plant a rock, it never needs weeding, feeding or pruning. And unlike every green thing I’ve ever owned, they don’t look terrible if you never water them.

The problem is, it’s harder to make rocks look like a garden than one might think. Because for every rock garden that looks like these lovely pictures from Hasedera, there are way too many of…these

Granted, this view is better than what’s under most overpasses, but somehow, I find this line-up of random rocks doesn’t inspire me to contemplate the divine order of the universe

You know this one is here because someone said, “I’m sick of watering those plants by the entrance – they just die anyway. Let’s put a rock garden here instead!” and then a few execs waved their hands in the air, saying, “Hey, I’ve got a big one in my yard I’ve been dying to get rid of….”

This sad display is the freeway iceplant of rock gardens

And this Rock Garden Planter must have been put here in desperation, after everything else died from being in such a depressing place. Even those hardy succulents are trying to escape :/

Now this is just lazy. Landscaping Hall of Shame.

I thought long and hard about including this, because it barely qualifies as “intentional,” and yet there’s a certain “if you put a million monkeys in a million rooms and asked them to design a rock garden…” quality to it. Enjoy.

And what happens when you get tired of having an ugly rock garden right outside your door? THIS

When not heaping critical remarks on rock gardens, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of…read more