Garden stones with their own hands

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The Japanese stone garden organically embodies a significant part of the original Japanese culture, at the base of which there is an amazing symbiosis of the national religious trend of the Shinto and a special kind of Buddhism peculiar to the Japanese, the philosophy of unity with the nature of Zen. The embodiment of the idea that man is an inseparable part of everything exists, does not accept the concepts "old" or "new" in relation to the garden of stones, since these concepts are not possessed by nature itself. How to properly arrange a Japanese garden of stones on your site with your own hands? The answer is read further.

Philosophy of laying stone garden

The rules of the Japanese garden were clearly formulated in the Middle Ages and have not changed during this time even once. They are added, interpreted somewhat differently, but the most basic moments remain unchanged. A stone garden in Japan, under any circumstances, must remain the embodiment of the eternal, filled with mysteries and all kinds of metaphors. His philosophy is that he can consist of one and a half dozen stones, or maybe only one tree, which stands alone in the center, and near him lies a boulder. In size, a stone garden can be anything, from a couple of square meters to several hectares.

This is the most famous stone garden in Kyoto at the monastery of Reanji

This is the most famous stone garden in Kyoto at Reandji monastery

Europeans already understand the philosophy of the Japanese garden much. For us, it is mainly a garden of stones. In the terminology of the Zen doctrine, such gardens are called "dry", but they embody abstract philosophy and the aesthetics of dzenbuddism. At the Reanji Temple in Kyoto is the most famous stone garden. This is a small area, covered with gravel, on which are located 15 stones, growing as if from the ground. The puzzle lies in the fact that if you choose any place for contemplation, you will see all the stones except one. Its unambiguous clue simply does not exist, so a person can only contemplate this miracle and think about the eternal.

Text of the medieval instruction on the device of the Japanese stone garden

The text of the medieval instruction on the device of the Japanese stone garden.

The medieval instruction to create a garden of stones was very intricate. At the same time, it reflects the very essence of the philosophy of the stone garden: it is not necessary to change nature, it is necessary to accept it as it is.

Basic principles of building a garden of stones

Two types of Japanese rocky gardens are classically distinguished. The first species is smashed in a hilly area, and called it tsukiyama. The second kind is arranged on a flat area, on which there are no significant changes in heights. The Japanese call it Khiraniv. Both species are divided into three subspecies:

  1. Unsaved subspecies of the garden is called syn. The most complex form of the garden, in which the elements are hidden so that it seems they are hiding somewhere with secret intent. This feeling does not leave anyone who looks at such a garden.
  2. Semi-reduced bears the name ge.
  3. Short - with.
The stones have a hidden intention and some mystery in the Japanese gardens of the syn.

The stones have a hidden intent and a mystery in the Japanese gardens of syn.

How to locate the stones

Sute-isi is the world's recognized art of decorating stone gardens. According to the Japanese sages, the stone is a masculine. To look at a fixed stone means to comprehend the truth, to understand harmony, to feel the refinement and beauty of nature. It is to achieve these goals should be sent to all actions for laying stones. Each stone is put in such a way that a mystery appears in it, a kind of double bottom. Man, looking at him, must feel it. To achieve this effect, you need to put the stone so that it becomes an inseparable whole with all the objects that surround it. It is necessary to fit it into the landscape harmoniously and ideally.

To create a garden of stones it is customary to use stones of volcanic origin, which abound in Japanese islands: andesite, basalt, chlorite, granite or even tuff. One of the most important elements of the Japanese garden are stone paths. To create them, you need to carefully hide all the cracks, chips and unnatural cuts on the stones. Lay the stones on the path in such a way that the longest edge of the stone should be perpendicular to the direction of movement along this path. The stones in the Japanese garden can be surrounded by plants, and can lie on a leveled and covered with fine gravel or sand pad.

Observance of ancient traditions - the basis of the basics

Traditionally, an odd number of stones are used to create a garden in the Japanese style: 3, 5, 7 and so on. Set them arbitrarily: you can simply put on the ground, put on the edge or partially bury. The main thing is not to neglect the ancient traditions. After all, by appropriation, the wrong arrangement of stones can cause trouble and suffering. Therefore, there should be no rush, as incorrect laying will disturb the whole harmony of the garden. You can not mix different paints and stones of different kinds and shapes. They should be monotonous and belong to the same species group. Tradition does not tolerate experimenters.

Having two or three stones next to each other, you should avoid straight lines, as this is unnatural for nature. Even two stones must be laid so that they do not create illusions of a straight line, however difficult it may be. To do this, they try to put them diagonally in relation to the person's view. It is necessary to avoid perpendicularity and with other objects on the site. Angles and bases of cobblestones can be directed in any direction.

The device of tsukubai in the garden of stones

The most unusual and deserving special attention is the element of tsukubai. It is a stone vessel resembling a barrel filled with water. An ancient tradition tells us to perform in it the washing of hands before the ceremony of drinking tea drinks. Place for tsukubai ancient identified near hedges or walls of masonry. Near this tank is often installed a lantern of stones.

Tsukubai - an integral part of the garden of stones in the Japanese style, you need to wash your hands before tea.

Tsukubai - an integral part of the garden of stones in the Japanese style, necessary for washing hands before tea.

Prepared tsukubai can be purchased in specialized stores, but it will be much cheaper to produce it yourself. The main thing here is to provide a simple drainage system to prevent excessive moistening around the object. Below we describe the technology of the construction of mukaibachi - one of the varieties of tsukubai. To do this, you will need the following:

  • A stone bowl of tsukubai purchased in the store, or made to order by carving a niche in a large boulder.
  • Bayonet shovel.
  • A long wooden pole or stick.
  • Piece of drainage pipe.
  • Cement mortar.
  • Stones and boulders of any size and shape to your taste.
  • Small stones or gravel, which will fill the space between large boulders.
  • River or quarry pebbles.

The installation of a stone tank is carried out in several stages.

Stages of installation on the site of the stone bowl

First of all, determine the most optimal place for the installation of tsukubai and dig there a pit no more than 30 cm deep. From the pit make a trench, into which the drainage pipe is laid. Then put a stone "barrel" in place, prepared for her. It should not block the drainage outlet. A wooden pole will be needed to install the tsukubai in place. It is used as a lever. You can use metal scrap, but this is not the philosophy.

An approximate scheme of the layout of stones in the design of tsukubai.

An approximate scheme for laying stones in the design of tsukubai.

After the installation of the bowl itself, they begin to decorate the composition with boulders. The largest of them is placed in the center at a distance of 40 cm from the middle of the "stone barrel".The remaining stones in a chaotic order are placed around these two objects. All the space between the stones is filled with small gravel or shards of pebbles. The purpose of this is to avoid getting into the soil composition. Then the top part of the drain is poured with a solution, so as not to block the entrance to the pipe. To do this, you can temporarily cover it with a stone.

Before the central large stone put another smaller, so that it was slightly lower. Small stones cover the entire drainage system, and the entrance to the pipe is decorated with boulders larger. The bottom of the tsukubai is laid with beautiful pebbles, after which all are poured with clean cold water to wash away the dust. The water in the bowl needs to be changed daily. It must be clean and transparent, because it is sacred. To make it constantly current, you can arrange a hidden reservoir with a pump.

For this purpose, under the site, any capacity of the required volume is placed in the pit, into which a pump for a small fountain is placed. He will raise the running water back into the bowl, realizing its constant circulation. That the water does not bloom, you can add special pools for it, and install a filter in the system. As a water tray, you can use a bamboo tube, which will give even more similarity to the original Japanese style.

Tsukubai with forced circulation of water by an electric pump for a fountain.

Tsukubai with forced water circulation by electric pump for fountain.

Which plants are suitable for a garden of stones

Japanese often resort to the use of mosses and lichens to plant their gardens of stones. This is a very complex art, because to get many different types of mosses, and, most importantly, to make them settle down is not so easy. They grow only a millimeter a year, so you can not wait for their full bloom. Ordinary gardeners can use classical sakura and bonsai. The huge tree of bonsai grows only in natural conditions. In the garden, he cuts the crown and roots in a special way, due to which the plant develops somewhat differently. It acquires low growth and bizarrely bent branches. This is fully compatible with the Japanese philosophy of rejection of grandeur and luxury.

A stone garden should be poor in plants, as its main element is stones. Therefore, the use of bright colors and riot of flowers is prohibited. It is best for him, except for the above: plum and rhododendron. Acquiring seedlings, you need to be sure that they will transfer the climate of our area. Perfect for us are coniferous representatives of the Japanese flora: Chinese juniper, Japanese pine, cedar, yew and cypress. Deciduous plants are even larger: evergreen boxwood, Japanese maple, camellia, spindle grass, astilda, holly, iris, begonia, spiraea, bamboo and many other species, but they are worse for our winters, and some will freeze in the first frosts.

Japanese garden of stones gardened with various vegetation.

Landscaped with various vegetation Japanese rock garden.

The role of water in the garden of stones

If a stone is a male yang, then water is female yin. We have already described an example of a successful combination of these principles by means of the device of tsukubai. But you can do in a stone garden and any other pond. It all depends on your imagination. It can be a small pond or a waterfall. The main thing is that it should be surrounded with stones and as much as possible resembles a natural natural object.

Especially Japanese like to arrange waterfalls, which even came up with their names:

  • Current-oti, which means falling on a direct trajectory. In it, water flows freely from the upper level to the lower one.
  • Kasane-oti suggests several barriers to the flow of water.
  • Katy-oti consists of two streams that are very different in width.
  • Ito-oti consists of several thin jets.
  • Sayu-oti falls from two sides, thanks to an obstacle dividing the flow into two equal parts.
  • Nuno-oti forms a very thin continuous stream, through which everything is visible.
  • Tsutai-oti has the ability to slide on rocks.
  • Mukai-oti brings the two jets face to face.
  • Hanare-oti has a unique beauty, as water falls some distance from the stone ledge.
  • Eko-oti forms a flow on only one side of the stone.
Waterfall in the Japanese stone garden.

Waterfall in a Japanese stone garden.

If your site has large elevation differences, then this is an ideal condition for creating a garden of Japanese-style stones. On this site, you can build a real big waterfall, stone steps, bridges and other elements of decor, capable of creating a unique flavor of Japanese culture. The main thing is to plan all the nuances at the planning stage: the features of the terrain, the composition and chemical properties of the soil, the endurance of the plants that are planned to be planted, the possibilities for nursing, and financial constraints. If everything is thought out to the last detail, then the stone garden will certainly please you with its deep philosophy of the ancient East.

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