The Zen of Furiosa – Garden Description Lost in Translation

Today is the start of the 2020 NW Flower and Garden Festival. This year I decided to create a bonsai garden that is unique and far fetched from your traditional bonsai garden. During our this whole process I’ve been working with the show organizers and submitting all the requirements they need to get this garden in their show. One of the last things they need was a Public Relations (PR) questionnaire. I did my best to provide what they needed. One of them is the garden description. I provided them a narrative that would best describe my garden and what went on in my mind when I was creating it. They then go back to their own PR people and somehow create a shorter version of my garden description. I waited for them to publish their version, checked their website weekly and nothing came out until about 3 weeks before the show opened. Finally when it came out, I was glad they did but at the same time a little disappointed that there were key information that were cut out. For non movie buffs like me, it will probably not matter. But for movie buffs especially the one that have seen the movie Fury Road, I have a sinking feeling that I will be bombarded with questions at the show that will be to much to answer during the show. This is my way of clarifying it by sending people to this post so they can see the full version of my garden description.

Here it is below exactly just how I submitted it:

“just because it’s a wasteland, it doesn’t mean we can’t create something beautiful” 

George Miller, Mad Max Director

This garden was inspired by a possible untold story about Imperator Furiosa from the Mad Max: Fury Road.   Furiosa, portrayed by Charlize Theron in a 2015 dystopian action thriller film, was a female war captain that defected against the evil Warboys.  Furiosa teams up with Max Rockatansky to fight off the Warboys in an oil and water scarce apocalyptic world to save the Five Wives (breeders) and bring them to the safety of “The Green Place”.  “The Green Place” in the movie turns out that it became polluted and barren.

The untold story begins at the end of the movie after the Warboys have been conquered and Furiosa returns to Citadel where there is water.  The possible untold story is when Furiosa meets a wandering Zen master who would become her guide to eventual forgiveness, peace, and gardening.   Furiosa, through her new found skills would then use whatever materials she could scavenge to create a beautiful and peaceful garden.  Furiosa would later go back to her childhood home “The Green Place” and restore its beauty.

In our modern world, we all feel like Furiosa at times.  Instead of fighting evil gangs, we fight off frustrations from our daily activities.  With increasing population everywhere, we are living in smaller spaces, we are confronted with more traffic, needing to be more vigilant in protecting our family and property, and dealing with more challenges navigating our super distracted world.  At times we all want to get away from it all.  Like the untold story of Furiosa, what if we also found a Zen master that can guide us through life and could help keep us be calm despite of all the hassles of daily life.   That will probably not be possible for all of us, but a small Zen-like garden is very much within our reach.   George Miller communicated through his Mad Max films the idea of “loving and protecting what little that you have”.  A little garden arranged harmoniously that one can go back to time and again to find peace and renewal is something to that anyone can love. This 400sf garden is a modern garden with a Zen-like feel with a big but humble attitude.  The hardscape will incorporate repurposed industrial materials that would have been otherwise considered junk.   This garden will feature 7 bonsai trees that were salvaged from landscape projects or have been destined for the compost bin.  This garden will feature a very unique bonsai from the Pacific Bonsai Museum, a tree with a metal saw blade and nails embedded in the trunk.  This tree portrays the irony of this garden, chaos and pain while in harmony and pleasure.  This garden will incorporate metal harmoniously in the garden and become a unifying color and feature. The garden will feature a modern metal fountain by Randy Bolander called the “The Wave”.   The wave symbolizes the life-giving water at Citadel.


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