IMAGINING THE FUTURE
From the age of thirteen to sixteen, Patrick was sent to boarding school at Ushaw, in Co. Durham. There he frequently won first prize in English composition and he was drawn to the Greek and Roman classics, which excited his vivid imagination. However, his formal education ended at sixteen due to his aunt’s bankruptcy.
This Transition Garden, which is framed by cherry blossom and pine, can be seen as the playground of youth. But it also contains several rock features and landscape structures which hold a deeper symbolic meaning, hinting at the, as yet unknown, far away future life of Lafcadio Hearn. The rock formations to the southeastern side of this space depict the outline of the four main islands of Japan. The paved path transecting the area resembles a swimming koi fish.
On the northwestern side, the rock formations represent the legend of the turtle and crane, depicted in 17th century gardens at Konchi-in near Kyoto. In Japanese legend, the crane is a sacred bird, the symbol of peace and long life. The turtle is the symbol of strength and endurance. Together the turtle and crane represent cooperation, peace and longevity.