Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies

Shôyôan Teien (Japanese Garden)

The Freeman family garden Shôyôan Teien was designed and built in summer 1995 by Stephen Morrell, a landscape architect specializing in Japanese-style gardens. His earlier public projects have included meditation gardens for Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York, and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, as well as a tea garden exhibition for the New York Japan Society. Since 1981, he has been Curator of the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden in Mill Neck, New York.

 

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Shôyôan Teien falls within the tradition of the viewing garden, one intended primarily for contemplative viewing from within an adjoining room or from a veranda or bench just outside. Unlike the more expansive strolling garden, which presupposes a moving viewer and sequential experience of shifting views, an intimately scaled courtyard garden like Shôyôan Teien is designed to disclose its full panorama to a stationary visitor seated at its edge. The tradition of the viewing garden has a long history in Japan, attaining its classic formulation in the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century gardens of such Zen monasteries as Ryoanji and Daitokuji in Kyoto.

A map of the plantings in the garden is also available.