An assemblage of artful hardscape and softscape elements garnered from around the world are the essence of this globetrotters’ garden. Here’s a breakdown of the cultures and locales represented in Wat Pho.
China Inspiration for the pebble mosaic terrace at the head of the entry walk came from the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.
England The bowling green, adjacent to the clay oven and vegetable garden, the only lawn space in the upper garden, grounds the eye in the midst of a cacophony of color. Hedges provide privacy, screening the garden from neighbors and street traffic.
Europe Sheared and shaped trees and shrubs create repetition and rhythm throughout the garden. Sculpted evergreen balls anchor the garden below the hillside water feature year-round, while deciduous trees pruned into pyramids add a transitory feeling that depends on the season. Topiary birds and animals nest in beds and borders.
Hawaii Having grown up in Hawaii, Noni Waddoups has an affinity for plants that suggest the tropical and exotic. Large-leaved plants punctuate the garden with a junglelike mien.
Japan The design of the summer house suspended at the top of the water course is based on Japanese tea houses. Bamboo fences and screens are used throughout the garden, coalescing with the other Asian influences.
Thailand Handcrafted spirit houses, ornamented with sacred objects and flowers, offer respite during the journey through the garden. Intricate, carved wood fretwork, imported from Thailand, appears as porch railings, gates, and trim. Gold leaf stenciling on fences and the interior walls of the greenhouse is derived from Thai temples. Driftwood ornaments carved in the Thai style are used as sculpture, and high-fired glazed containers play a multitude of roles.