Designing a Japanese Tea Garden

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Are there any tips for designing a Japanese tea garden?

Designing a Japanese Tea Garden

You've fallen in love with the Japanese culture, especially the simple beauty of a Japanese tea ceremony. After several months of making do by turning a corner of the living room into a teahouse, you've decided that this is going to be a life long pursuit. It is time to upgrade your tea ceremony area, so you are going to build a teahouse and design a Japanese tea garden to go with it.

As you consider how to create your tea garden, you should:

  • Look for a good spot to divide the garden into two parts. Japanese tea gardens traditionally have an outer and an inner garden. You'll need to have a gate or another very clear way to make the division between the two halves.
  • Leave the outer garden much more natural than the inner garden. The outer garden traditionally has a Japanese maple or other ornamental tree and a basin so guests can wash their hands and mouths. It also usually has a gravel area that can be used to symbolize a large body of water.
  • Find simpler plants for the inner garden. While it is still very natural, it is landscaped with non-flowering plants. Try using Japanese painted ferns or miniature bamboo in your inner garden.

   

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