Tealeaves Folio



A Japanese Garden in Vancouver: Nitobe

Throughout history, people have sought connections with nature. In particular, designers have observed nature, investigated its materials, and abstracted its forms and qualities.
The Garden of Secrets, a collaborative project between TEALEAVES and UBC Botanical Garden, dives into the realm of plant-inspired biomimicry and biophilic design with the goal of celebrating nature beyond its edible, visual and medicinal properties.


As Director of the UBC Botanical Garden, including the Nitobe Memorial Garden, Patrick Lewis is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the Garden. This includes the development, oversight, organization and financial management of the unit, and the management of professional and support staff, including curatorial, horticultural, and administrative, and contact staff.



Nitobe Memorial Garden is widely recognized as one of the most important Japanese Gardens outside of Japan. Graced by a classical tea house (Ichibō-an, Hut of the Sweeping View), the Garden blends Japanese and Canadian elements to reveal the deep and varied bond both cultures have with nature.

The Garden was designed and built between 1959 and 1960 by the Japanese garden master Kannosuke Mori and subsequently modified under the direction of the Japanese Zen priest, Shunmyo Masuno. Built to commemorate the life of Dr. Inazō Nitobe, Japanese educator, diplomat, pacifist, and author of Bushido, The Soul of Japan, the Garden is a place “of international friendship and outreach to the local Japanese community,” reflecting Dr. Nitobe’s wish to be “a bridge across the Pacific.” According to Professor Eijiro Fujii, the Garden speaks to “the time and place of its creation in the spirit of a world renewed after the destruction of war.”

Framed in the context of a west coast forest, the Nitobe Garden stretches across time and culture to blend a tradition that embraces the spiritual in nature (Shinto) with a belief in the basic unity of all things (Zen Buddhism).


As with Chanoyu, so with the Garden: as with the Garden, so with the world.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world. (John Muir)


Whether exploring Chado seated in the Ichibō-an, or moving through the Garden, the visitor is always one with nature.



JOURNEY TO TheGardenOfSecrets.com


#OverACupOfTealeaves: At TEALEAVES, we believe that the best “condiment” to any cup of TEALEAVES is a story to tell and wisdom to share.


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