This first movement of the Suite imparts the feeling of a flowing river through which the visitor can stroll. Granite boulders from the southern edge of the Canadian Shield are placed to represent a streambed with low-growing plants softening its banks. The whole is overtopped by an alley of native Hackberry trees whose straight trunks and regular spacing suggest measures of music.
The Allemande is an ancient German dance. Interpreted here as a birch forest, the movement invites the visitor to swirl inward to various contemplative sitting areas, that move higher and higher up the hillside, culminating in a rocky vantage point that looks over the Harbour through a circle of Dawn Redwood trees.
Originally an Italian and French dance form, the Courante is an exuberant movement that is interpreted here as a huge, upward-spiralling swirl through a lush field of grasses and brightly-coloured perennials that attract birds and butterflies. At the top, a Maypole spins in the wind.
This movement is based on an ancient Spanish dance form. Its contemplative quality is interpreted here as an inward-arcing circle that is enclosed by tall needle-leaf evergreen trees. Envisioned as a poet's corner, the garden's centerpiece is a huge stone that acts as a stage for readings, and holds a small pool with water that reflects the sky.
This French dance was contemporary to Bach's time. Its formality and grace are reflected in the symmetry and geometry of this movement's design. Hand-crafted with ornamental steel, a circular pavilion is designed to shelter small musical ensembles or dance groups.
The Gigue, or "jig" is an English dance, whose jaunty, rollicking music is interpreted here as a series of giant grass steps that offer views onto the Harbour. The steps form a curved amphitheatre that focus on a stone stage set under a weeping willow tree; a place for informal performances. Shrubs and perennials act as large, enclosing arms, framing views out onto the Harbour.