Water in the Garden - Magic abounds

A Kyoto garden, Japan

In Japan, the act of sanctifying with water is called ‘misogi’. This practice traces its origin to a Japanese tale about a primordial god who cleansed himself of worldly ‘tarnishing’ with water.  The belief that water rids us of the impurities of the earthly world is the basis for the low, stone water basins we see in Japanese gardens.

It is also why they traditionally sprinkle water at the gate of a home in the morning and evening.
The Japanese are not alone in their tradition of using water to bless people and places. Many great religions value ‘sanctified’ water. Catholicism sees water that has been blessed as a symbol of God’s grace and as a “wellspring of all holiness...”

Thai Buddhists make ‘lustral’ water and believe that they will be blessed if they drink it or have it sprinkled on their head. At their new year, the Thai people scent bowls of water with flower petals, and sprinkle these sacred waters to cool, cleanse and bless.  Indian Sikhs prepare ‘amrit’, or holy water, for use in their baptismal ceremonies. And Muslims make a pilgrimage to the well of Zam Zam in Mecca for its holy water.

Water is indeed magical....include it in any garden you make!


  1. Voltaire, one of my favourite philosopher, once said, in his famous metaphorical novel 'Candide' that we must tend to our garden because labour preserves us from three great evils: weariness, vice, and want. He forgot, however, to mention that it is also the ultimate therapy since nothing is wasted if it is well done. Japanese gardens are indeed beautiful - and so are your posted pictures.

  2. Sisyphus uphill - how beautifully said!....and that image of pushing the boulder up the hill that I conjure up just writing your name is intense indeed.

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    Authentic Provence reflects an intimate portrait of (the south of) France where the outdoor living is saturated with the most refined yet simple garden antiques (savoir faire). Visit www.authenticprovence.com for more information.


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