Welcome to the Tsubo-en diary. Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have any questions feel free to email us or post in the comment sections of one of the posts you'll find here.
     Marijke & Piet.

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Repairing the bamboo fence (take gaki)

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Our small bamboo fence (take gaki) was constructed in the Yotsume-gaki style. Constructed and placed in 2009 the fence now required repair and maintenance. A bamboo fence or take gaki ( 竹垣 ) is an important object in many Japanese gardens. Like woods bamboo can last for years in the outdoors with proper maintenance. […]

Abundant bloom of our Wisteria sinensis

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In last years post Wisteria sinensis in bloom I wrote about the differences in the flowering over the years. 2010 was an extremely poor year. Last year we counted only about 100 pendulous racemes with flowers at any one time. In April 2009 it looked fabulous with over 600 racemes, at one time ! […]

Topiary hedges, design and refine by experience

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My first thought for a post-title was ‘Design and re-design by experience’. But then, later I considered that as too strong. Hence the current title. What is that all about ? In this post I will discuss, and more importantly show, an interesting and even intriguing, development. Find the differences in these photo’s (taken from […]

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

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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 […]