The Himeji Japanese Gardens in Park 18 were gifted to the City of Adelaide in 1988 from the Japanese city of its namesake to commemorate the then newly formed sister city relationship between Adelaide and Himeji. The garden is fantastically authentic although a little small for many people to use it at once and isn’t widely known about in many Adelaide circles nor does it get a lot of tourist attention. My idea is to expand on this garden into a series of International Gardens throughout the Parklands giving them a critical mass effect to boost visitor numbers to the Parklands from both here and abroad. The International Gardens would be clustered together into four district regional zones and placed in some of the Parkland most under used parks. i.e. Park 18: Northern Asian Gardens: Expanded Japanese Gardens, Chinese Gardens… Park 21w: Southern Asian Gardens: Indian Gardens, Thai Gardens… Park 24: Mediterranean Gardens: Italian Gardens, Spanish Gardens… Park 4: European Gardens: French Gardens, English Gardens…
The gardens could be a way of forming new partnerships with other cultural cities of the world giving Adelaide and its Parklands greater international exposure. From those cultural ties would come a level of authenticity to the each and every garden, with design expertise imported in as well as possibly physical artefacts in some cases donated by our new sister cities. An extreme example of this is the case of Madrid Spain, where the Egyptian government donated an entire temple (Templo de Debod) to be housed in a Madrid city park.
For the locals the gardens would represent the opportunity to shoot off on an overseas jaunt every week, for the interstate visitors it would means Europe and Asia are only a couple hours plane ride away and for the overseasers it would mean come to Adelaide to see the world!
With Australia being a migrant nation and a nation of travellers, the International Gardens would form a special emotional connection with the people of Adelaide. For many Adelaideans the gardens would provide an opportunity to connect with their ancestral home. For new Australians the gardens may represent a slice of the old country in their adopted land. For the travel class the parks would mean a chance to relive their last holiday abroad or give a taste of destinations not yet able to be visited.
The formal gardens would be a wonderful place for peaceful strolling, family picnics, wedding photos, quiet meditation or a catch up with friends. Included within many of the gardens would be traditional styled buildings or structures hosting eateries, cultural exhibits and performance spaces specific from that region. The youthful and adventurous would love to drop by the German Beer Gardens for an afternoon, spend an evening at the Thai Garden Bar or go along for a night time flamenco show and tapas in the Spanish Gardens. The more relaxed crowd would settle in for a cappuccino or gelati at the Italian Gardens, a yoga session in the Indian gardens, or a green tea ceremony in an expanded Himeji Japanese Gardens. But for bringing everyone together the International Gardens would offer the French Gardens patisserie cart, the Chinese Garden’s pavilion exhibiting Ming Dynasty antiquities and a myriad of cultural festivals from around the globe in each and every garden. These extracurricular activities and features would provide another vibrant dimension to the Gardens and a further night time presence for the Parklands. What this all adds up to would be yet another example of the Parklands’ unique identity as well as Adelaide’s multicultural heritage and status as Australia’s cultural capital.
The International Gardens would be the embodiment of multicultural Adelaide, bringing the best aspects of societies from across the planet together. Adelaide Parklands, Global Melting Pot!
Travel around the world in 80 days? It would be possible to travel the world in 80 minutes in Adelaide new International Parklands Series.
For more of my ideas, check out: https://sites.google.com/site/adelaideparklands2036/