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Showing posts from June, 2012

Incorporating The Four Qualities of the Tea Ceremony into Your Garden

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Unforgettable outdoor spaces have an atmosphere that integrates the four qualities defined in the Japanese Tea ceremony (as noted by the sixteenth century Japanese tea master and garden designer, Sen Rikyu).  These are:


 Harmony or ‘Wa’ encourages us to align with nature and develop a positive relationship with all living things.Harmony resides within a garden’s changing rhythms:stormy or calm, sunny or cloudy.It is found in the smallness of pebbles or the most lofty of trees.Harmony allows us to revel in the evanescence of all things.

Respect or Kei can be described as reverence. It arises from a humble demeanor, consideration of others and an overarching sense of gratitude that extends to all in our daily life, animate and inanimate. Everything in a garden should be treated with a spirit of reverence.
Purity or Sei implies simplicity, the uncluttering of our mind and our environment. It found in the orderliness ofa swept garden path. It does not require absolute cleanliness as much as…

June 20 - upcoming NY Botanical Garden class

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Secrets of Creating GARDENS OF SERENITY Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:00am until 3:30pm
NYBG ADULT EDUCATION - sign up with them
Learn how to use ancient layout techniques to create harmony in a garden....


Discover the power spot of a site;

how north, south, east, and west affect the psyche;


how certain shapes impact us,

which color frequencies create a serene mood



yin / yang approach in landscape design



a rock's resonance

and more....

 FASCINATING and INSPIRING.





The Lure of a Tea House

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Tea gardens and tea houses in Japan in the 16th century represented
 "a mutual rejoicing in such spiritual bonds of comradeship, in the course of the search for Truth, Good and Beauty" - Emori Nahiko
Nahiko further explains

"For example, if both the host and guests discover in the tea cup, brought into the tea-room by the host, some common element of beauty, the souls of those persons become united."  (“Chashitsu [Tea-rooms], by Emori Nahiko and Asahitani Sau. Asahi Shimbun, 1949.) I got this quote from a fabulous website called The Saunterer - check it out.
This lovely quote inspired me to search out versions of Tea Houses and more:

Terunobu Fujimori's Too-High Tea House, in Nagano, Japan is perched atop a pair of tree trunks 20 feet tall: he says, “One leg is dangerous and three legs are too stable and boring.”
model for the above tea house - DWELL magazine
Is this search for truth, good and beauty  what animates us serenity garden lovers to build such frivolous b…

Go Into The Arts ....

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Stachys 'Hummelo' - my fave rave....

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Japanese Varigated Iris and Stachys 'Hummelo' photo by Jan Johnsen
I must admit I develop plant infatuations..and just as in my life, the quiet hard-to-get-to-know types fascinate me....

this time it is Stachys officinalis 'Hummelo'


Iris pallida varigata, flower carpet roses,and gomphrena 'Buddy Purple' photo by Jan Johnsen
It is a Stachys cultivar (its cousin is the famous 'Lamb's ears') and it is a low growing, clumping perennial groundcover, growing no more than 20" high. It has the most wonderful glossy dark green scalloped leaves growing in a tight rosette pattern. It looks as if someone took those scalloping shears to their edges.


Hummelo has scalloped leaves - like this
Hummelo - my name for this plant -  is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. It spreads by creeping stems (stolons) that root as they go along the ground. The leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates.


Courtesy Missouri Botanical G…