Tsubo garden art wholesale

Japanese garden art in Kleinziethen

Christian Otto is a garden designer with heart and soul - and has been for over thirty years. Since 2008 he has been chief designer at the Royal Garden Academy in Berlin. There he designs versatile systems for his customers. From the English style to the Zen garden, everything is included. Regardless of the type of design, for Christian Otto the environment and its history always play an important role in the staging of gardens and landscapes.

He got to know a special garden philosophy during his studies in Japan. Since then, Far Eastern garden art has been one of his great passions.

Christian Otto has now created a Japanese tsubo garden for the Lorberg tree nursery

In our interview, Mr. Otto talks about the idea of ​​the Tsubo garden, the philosophy and history behind it and answers questions about his very personal view of garden planning.

Mr. Otto, how did the idea of ​​creating a tsubo garden on the tree nursery come about?

Christian Otto: During one of my first visits to Japan, I became aware of Tsubo Gardens, which immediately interested and excited me. Tsubo can be translated as 'small pot'. The first gardens of this kind were laid out in the Heian period, starting in 794 AD.

So it's a very old style of gardening?

Christian Otto: This was especially appreciated by wealthy business people. In the beginning of the 16th century, this garden style became more widespread in inner-city areas. At the time, taxes were levied depending on the length of the street-side property or house front, which led to narrow buildings. The desire to improve the living environment then led to the integration of the smallest of gardens in the residential building. The garden rooms were enclosed on all sides by the building. These could be small landscapes or pure rock gardens.

My aim is to make it clear to visitors to the Lorberg Nursery that it doesn't take a lot of garden space to touch the viewer's senses through landscapes.

Japanese gardens and bonsai art usually reproduce an idealized form of nature on a small scale. Was that the aim when you designed your Tsubo garden in Kleinziethen?

Christian Otto: Yes, in Kleinziethen, too, it was a question of depicting the landscape. But tension should also arise when looking calmly at the interior design. The actual Tsubo garden, which has been lowered by approx. 40 cm compared to the surrounding garden area, accommodates a large stone solitaire, the real size of which can only be guessed at. It gives space for your own thoughts. And: Incidentally, this stone has been waiting for me to be used for almost 25 years.

What does tsubo mean and what is special about such a garden?

Christian Otto:These gardens, no matter how small, emit an incredible amount of energy.
A few years ago I visited an old imperial private garden that is now temporarily open to the public. While strolling through this imperial villa, I came across a Tsubo garden, which could be viewed from all sides of the building surrounding it, completely unexpectedly. There were always different views of the garden and accordingly changing moods. Here you can find out how little garden it takes to sink into it.

You studied in Japan and got to know Far Eastern garden facilities in the country of origin. Are there fundamental differences in how the Japanese and Germans view a garden?

Christian Otto:Japanese gardens are miniaturized replicas of special places and landscapes as an idealized, three-dimensional version of nature. This is certainly THE specialty of Japanese garden art.

If, like you, have been designing gardens for over 30 years, can you still perceive nature without prejudice without a “professional look”?

Christian Otto:

I can also take in nature without prejudice

It is more difficult for me to do this with gardens or landscapes that I have already set up. When I step into a landscaped garden space, I immediately start analyzing the design.
It is more difficult for me to do this with gardens or landscapes that I have already set up. When I step into a landscaped garden space, I immediately start analyzing the design.

The questions are then very often:

  • What is the goal of the designer with the created spatial structure?
  • Which plants are used and how do they affect me?
  • Why this material? How is the spirit in the garden?

And can you tell us what style your own garden is designed in?

Christian Otto: Together with my wife and the children, we have created a small cottage garden in which we grow our own fruit and vegetables, but which is also a place of retreat. A small Japanese garden corner is being created here. I am already planning a new garden of my own. The implementation should start in the next 1-2 years, when the suitable area has been found. It is of course a Japanese-inspired garden that will then also be made accessible to the public.

Thank you for the interview!