About this website

This website is actually a free book, built and maintained by Piet while Marijke sometimes looks over my shoulder either giving unsolicited or asked for advice, mainly related to the aesthetics and look and feel. The real world garden, Tsubo-en, was realized and is maintained solely by the two of us.
Who are we ?
We are Marijke and Piet Patings (here in Zazen meditation  ¹ ), the owners of the Tsubo-en karesansui garden in Lelystad (1997-2017), the Netherlands.
We have over 30 years of hands-on experience with Japanese style gardens (i.e. Japanese-style but not located in Japan). Experience means that we did the design, construction and maintenance of all aspects involved our selfs. We started to learn about Japanese gardens back in 1983  ¹ .
If you really, really feel an urge to know more about the creators of Tsubo-en and the authors of this site have a look at: Marijke & Piet Patings Web site.
IMG_2188w356e (31K)
Why this site ?
We first created the (old) website to show(off) our karesansui garden in the Netherlands, actually located on land that is also known as "the new land" (sorry Dutch only). It was taken from the sea only about half a century ago.
Making a Zen Garden is not at all as simple and straightforward as many web sites want us to believe. When we realized that there are many people out there that are looking for help and guidance, perhaps a quick-start and examples, we decided to make our knowledge and experience available to other enthusiasts. Based on the experience gained with previous Japanese gardens in combination with my professional experience as IT Architect, the current Tsubo-en, shown on these pages, was designed in a structured way according to the method described in Approach to realization of a (Japanese Zen) garden and how we applied this to realize Tsubo-en in Specifics on the realization of Tsubo-en.

The banner, or header, of a web site or home page is often thematic. Although the subject is karesansui, specifically Tsubo-en, our own Japanese garden, we kept the banner of our private website.
On December 31th 1989 we where at the top of the Bromo volcano (the one with the "flat" top) on the Indonesian island of Java. From there we could also see a mountain known as, Sumeru (Mountain number one) the highest on the island of Java. We climbed during the dark and awaited dawn.
At breaking of dawn we really felt overwhelmed by this nature event. The rapid changes of light in combination with the rapid changes of the cloud-formations made us feel part of nature and at the same time feel very small. It felt like being one with nature on top of the world. We have tried to catch the beauty of this experience in photo's.
It is a very small part of one of these photo's that we use as our banner (duplicated and mirrored to get the required format), not only because it is the top page of our web site and the top of our home page but also as an attempt to share some of our experience with you. These floating mountain-tops, so it appears, can be inspiring for contemplation.

The photo below was taken only minutes later and yet observe the changing colors and cloud forms.


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