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I am retired and have been working on my JGarden for many years. I lived in Fukuoka Japan three years as a part of my military experience, that's where I got interested in the Tei-en of gardening. I am not an expert (planted decididuous trees!) but I know what I like. My garden cannot been seen from the house(!) and is on a slope (!), maybe it's not Japanese at all.
When I began my garden many years ago, it was simply to be a place to be. Moving the rocks, planting a tree and massaging the pathways was a good way to get me out of the house on pleasant days.
The idea of a Japanese-style garden was in the back of my mind because of the setting and also an interest in something that wasn't decorated with annual plantings. The memories of the good times in Japan helped me to decide on a strolling garden where one can walk around and be surprised and pleased by what is found around the next curve or over the little bridge.
Working with stones over years, moving one here and adjusting that one there, has led to a pleasant asymmetry and naturalness which pleases me and sometimes those who visit.
Watching the trees and groundcovers mature and then even die has brought me to a understanding of the cycle of a natural place. When the largest oak fell down, shade-lovers underneath were suddenly sunloving and some survived. The constant search for the "perfect" groundcover has been going on and continues. Sometimes I just don't like what a plant has become... "out with it!" The cycle is skewed by me. There is always another rock to move and another streambed to be thought-through. It won't be finished 'til I am.
If my kids or the next owners are encouraged by what I've done in cahoots with the elements, then there'll be a legacy for me. If they need a place for a swingset, that can be their choice. I do what I do because it pleases me, here, now, and as He tarries, tomorrow as well.
All to say, as was mentioned in a JOJG editorial last year or so, the garden is for enjoyment, hard work, satisfaction, but mostly for the pleasure of a place to be.

Dave
You may be able to view this URL (if it stays current). Try it and welcome!

http://community.webshots.com/album/141068090esMPDx

I live in: United States

My zone is: Ctrl CA

My favorite forum 1 is Japanese Gardens.

First registered on July 31, 2003 .