Lego Tranquil Garden

In recent years, Lego has expanded its line of brick building models to a more adult audience, not just adult collectors. In 2021, they released the Lego Bonsai Tree, the first in its new line of botanical sets which tried to remove as much of the Lego authentic as possible. From a distance, you could barely tell the flowers or trees were Lego. With its huge success, Lego continued to release more botanical sets.

Going into this summer, they announced their new sets, one of which was the Lego Tranquil Garden. This set attempted to replicate the scene of a Japanese garden.

After hearing about the Tranquil Garden, I was really looking forward to it. It wasn't TOOO expensive at $110, and it looked like the perfect companion set to the Bonsai tree, a set that I put together a few months ago, and absolutely love.

The Tranquil Garden came out on August 1st, and I bought it directly from 2 weeks later, when I finally had time away from work, I fired up the Twitch stream, and put it together with some folks watching. Overall, it took about 5 hours to put together.

I'm not a huge Lego person (really I'm not), but this set was an absolute joy to put together.

The tea house was a pretty standard short build that used a lot of unique parts to complete the Japanese aesthetic, but the real amazing part was building the base. It was fun trying to figure out where the pond, path, bridge, and house were supposed to go in the end while building it up from the bottom.

Some YouTubers complained about the annoying correctness of having to place all the translucent blue water tiles, but it felt more like a puzzle to me. I think the Lego brand is so strong because creative people can take a set and build whatever they want and people looking for a more structured experience can follow the instructions to put the model together perfectly. Even in both cases, there's room to go the other way and build what you really want in the end.

With the final rock pieces added on the edge of the pond, 1x1 struts were created to support the tea house, and then it's connected.

The final part of the model created 6 interchangeable mostly tree modules for the 6 squares in the base. There were two somewhat sparse cherry blossom trees, a pine tree, some bamboo shoots, a small tree, and a stone lantern-like structure. The pine tree was really fragile, so I shoved an extra red bar down the center for stability.

With all the elements completed, the set really comes alive.

Because of the angled rocks and other curved building techniques, it doesn't immediately scream Lego. Although, those seams start showing when you get up close.

Everything is built at mini-figure scale, so if you do collect other lego sets, you can have some figures walking around. To clash with the tranquility of nature, I bought a custom, somewhat creepy looking Joker figure from Yahoo Auctions. And, I bought a Batman keychain with my order. At a distance, both figures kind of blend into the model.

I loved how this set turned out, and it looks great next to the Bonsai tree. The bases are built the exact same way with the exact same pieces, so they really are the perfect companion sets with each other. With a little modification of moving around some frogs, it will look even more seamless.

I bought a second Bonsai tree not that long ago, and I think it would be perfect to place on the other side of the model. I'll put that together at some point and complete the scene on my shelf. :)

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