Thursday, March 22, 2007

Japanese Koi

One of my favorite getaways is La Jolla, California. Its hard to visit there without at least stopping by Balboa Park.

This park is amazing. A unique mix of culture, horticulture, and history make this large park special. Balboa park boasts a large listing of museums, a really cool giant historical organ, a golf course, several trails and the world famous San Diego Zoo. In addition to all of this, it also hosts San Diego's Japanese Friendship Garden.

For just a few dollars- or less if you happen to be a member of a reciprocal garden like we are- you can take a leisurely stroll through this beautiful and well tended garden filled with various plants, bonsais, small Japanese style buildings and its key feature- a large koi pond. This central garden feature is absolutely stunning, complete with reflection pavillion and a well planned waterfall. A couple dozen large koi lazily swim about, surfacing every so often with their gaping mouths and alien faces protruding from the water. An attendant sits near by, giving children koi pellets and showing them how to hand feed these large decorative carp.

He sat and told stories to the patrons and eagerly exchanged home pond tips. Several adults eagerly eavesdropped while the children laughed hysterically because the fish were so excited about the food the kids were sharing.

While this particular garden is smaller than many of the Japanese Friendship Gardens found around the country, there is something about the serene environment this particular location provides. It is quiet- subdued and set back from the regularly beaten path.

In the end, Kirk and I sat watching these beautiful fish dance through the water for a good hour or so and felt at peace with the world. Its so easy to lose track of the time in this mini world in garden form. I left feeling renewed and blissfully happy. I think that the garden has accomplished its goal.

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