Saturday, August 28, 2010

Slide Show: Plants Phase III (Spring - Summer, 2010)

During the summer of 2010 I spent most of my time building the garden fence. However, I did add some new plants, move others around, and removed some as well. Below are images of the new additions and changes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dharma Cowbell Chime

Picked up an Asian Style cowbell chime while vacationing in Lake Placid.

As soon as I saw it, I knew it would work well in the Zen garden, especially because of the sound. It has a nice deep tone, sort of like a gong, but not the kind you slam with a drum stick - this one is very mellow and needs significant wind to make it ring, not too loud, not too dim, just right. It also looks great.

Here is what is sounds like: Click to Listen

Here is a link to where you can purchase the same chime: Woodstock Dharma Cowbell

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Refurbished Bench

During the June spring clean-up day in my town I came across an old garden bench that someone was throwing out. It was falling apart, weathered grey with age, but otherwise in good condition (no rot).

So I took it home, disassembled it piece by piece, sanded it down, and then reassembled it and stained it to match the garden fence.

It looks great and coast about $30 for all the glue, dowels, sandpaper, foot stones, and stain & brush. Not bad for a 5 ft. hardwood bench that should have cost me about $400-500 (“one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure”).

It now reside along the Dragon's Spine area.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Slide Show: The Fence

Below are photos from the construction of the fence - starting with posthole digging to the final staining.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Fence

"The grass is always greener on the other side."

Shortly after starting the Zen Garden in the summer of 2009 I began thinking that a fence was needed to enclose the garden. I wanted the fence to have a Japanese style and spent much of the winter months that followed reading about traditional Japanese styles of architecture and fence construction. However the most influential source came from a website (and subsequent book) I discovered by Kieran Egan entitled: Building My Zen Garden

Mr. Egan included an illustration in his website that became the model for the fence I built.

I modified the design to work with existing lumber dimensions and I opted to use rolled split-bamboo instead of cedar boards. Doing so helped keep the costs manageable and created an excellent Asian esthetic to the fence.

Keep in mind, I know nothing about fence building, so I spent most of January to May learning what I could at the public library.

In the end, the finished fence looks great, is straight, and should last many years. During the summer of 2011 I extended the fence by three panels to the end of the gazebo area and added a Moon Window in one of the panels (see Moon Window link in the blog menu).