Tropical and Subtropical Asia are the source of many of the world's most important plants.
Asia is also famous for harnessing and re-shaping nature – one thinks of rice paddies and coconut groves and rubber plantations. Many of the world's spices, grains and tropical timbers come from Asia. The Marcia and L. Bates Lea Asian Garden reflects it all.
The Lea Asian Garden is divided into various botanical zones: commercial crops, ornamentals, bamboos, water plants, and also into outdoor 'rooms' of cultural diversity. There is a Northern Thailand riverside scene, an ancient Javanese terraced sanctuary, a Balinese temple water garden, an East Indonesia megalithic court and a New Asian sculpture garden.
Specifically there are horticultural sections for the main ornamental plants from Asia: ixora, gardenia, gingers, palms, ferns, hibiscus, water plants, and ornamental bamboos. There is also a section featuring the main 'plants of commerce' such as screw pine, bamboo, jute and spices. The main decorative thrust for the Lea Asian Garden is ancient Asia – the terraced sanctuaries and water gardens that predate the emergence of the main cultural influences, India and China.
Designer & History
PT. Wijaya Tribwana International
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Made Wijaya was born Michael White in Sydney, Australia. He arrived in Bali in 1973, having jumped ship and swum ashore in a rainstorm. A student of architecture, he first of all intended the visit as a short break from his studies, but his fascination with Bali's rich culture and tradition led him to move in with a Brahman family in South Bali. After various jobs teaching tennis and English, working as a tourist guide and photojournalist, he began contributing to guide books before being asked to design the gardens of the legendary Bali Oberoi. More than 600 gardens later, Made is a world-renowned tropical garden designer whose company, P.T. Wijaya Tribwana International, has a 500-strong team of artisans and "garden commandos," as he calls them. He travels between his Bali base and Singapore, India, Spain, Morocco, Hawaii, Australia and Mexico to weave his magic.