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     Marijke & Piet.

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Section on Slate Roofing added

Slate Roofing   On the page House and garden I have added a section named Slate Roofing. The new section may be useful but is something we can currently only dream of. Slate roofing, in the American context, is a very traditional type of roofing. Found extensively in East Coastal and Southern towns of the country, [...]

Shumi-sen or Mount Sumeru, in historical perspective

In the garden book Sakuteiki 5 “Creating a garden” is expressed as “setting stones”, ishi wo taten koto; literally, the “act of setting stones upright.” At the time the Sakuteiki was written, the placement of stones was perceived as the primary act of gardening. Similar expressions are also used in the text, however, to […]

Nightingale floor, Uguisubari ( 鴬張り )

Boardwalk-Nijo_1

The “nightingale floor” is made with a special timber technique from 17th century which makes it impossible to walk on the floor without it making quite beautiful squeaking sounds. The idea of the floor surrounding the living and sleeping quarters of the palace was to work as alarm system. No one could enter the space […]

Traditional Samurai gardens of the Edo era

chiran-bukeyashiki

Zen – serene, contemplative, a discipline of meditation associated with painting, rock gardens, and flower arranging – seems an odd ingredient in the martial psyche of the Japanese Samurai. Winston King, “Zen and the Way of the Sword”. The first time I learned about the Samurai residences (and) gardens of Chiran 知覧武家屋敷群 was in […]

A new type of modern karesansui garden

ryoginan-ryogintei-w350

In my second article on the subject ‘Your own Japanese garden’ Part one and Part two, I list the Japanese garden archetypes as defined by the Tokyo Agricultural University. Modern Gardens from the last century and a half I must say that we are very impressed by many of Mirei Shigemori’s and Shunmyo Masuno’s, […]

Your own Japanese garden, part two

Kanji for fuzei in the Japanese flag

What types of Japanese garden can we distinguish ? In my previous article about this subject I wrote about considerations and decisions to be taken when you are going to build your own Japanese garden. In this article I’ll elaborate on that. As the Japanese garden evolved over 15 centuries it is difficult […]

Your own Japanese garden, part one

Architecture design outline garden plan of Ginkakuji, Silver Pavilion, in Kyoto

How to go about when you are caught by the beauty of a Japanese garden and you have decided that this is what you want ? Japanese gardens are a living work of art in which the plants and trees are ever changing with the seasons. As they grow and mature they are constantly […]