Garden Update: Stones Arrive

The Japanese garden is progressing. Yes, there are still a ton of weeds that need to be pulled and a lot of woodworking that needs done... but we are taking it one step at a time. Over lunch today, Lemke Stone from Lannon, WI delivered 4 large boulders. The photo above is Eli supervising the small dump truck. I was a bit nervous about dumping 7,000 pounds of rock into the yard, but everything worked out just fine. The photo below  shows what state the rocks are in now; they are just randomly thrown in the yard. 

Because they are way too heavy for us to move ourselves, we will have a separate company come in the next couple of weeks to place the stones exactly the way we want them. 3 stones will stay in this area by the shed to create a triad motif that is common in Japanese gardens. We have 1 large vertical stone that will serve as the central stone, or omo-ishi (主石, “master or main rock”), and two flatter supporting stones, or waki-ishi (脇石 “flanking or supporting stones”). We'll then place one smaller rock closer to the house to act as a land-based rock. 

Japanese gardens are seriously complex! Eli and I have spent so many hours researching and preparing, it is just fun to see pieces starting to come together. Check out the photo below to see closer views of 3 of the 4 rocks while they were still in the quarry show yard. 

Lots of updates to come in the next few weeks - I will keep you all posted!

What I've Been Up To

Sorry for the long hiatus from posting - I've been in full productivity mode. I've been working on a few really good projects including a home office install (photography to come in the next couple of weeks), an 8,000 square foot commercial office remodel that is undergoing architectural review and selecting finishes for a new construction home.

I've also been working on my own home. The kitchen, bathroom and hallway are all the typical beige color and are screaming for a paint job. I'm thinking a cool color palette -

This palette will set off the new coffee table that I just ordered from West Elm!  

The big project that has been consuming a lot of my time and energy is transforming my yard into a Japanese garden. When we bought the house, the yard was totally wild! Vines were completely swallowing the shed, weeds were running rampant and debris was buried everywhere (we dug up over one hundred plastic pot and have found glass beads everywhere!).  From the before pictures below you can see that there was little landscaping going on.  Eli did a great job knocking down the fence that was housing an old compost pile.  

Eli and I did a lot of research when planning the layout of the garden. We wanted it to be as authentic as possible. The book Creating Your Own Japanese Garden: A Practical Guide by     
Motomi Oguchi has been really useful. We are using it to follow the step-by-step instructions on building a bamboo fence. We still have a few weeks to go but here are a couple progress photos - 

We still need to finish ripping up the concrete, create the moss mounds, plant a couple trees/shrubs, build the bamboo fence along the perimeter of the yard, lay the gravel, get large boulders, build a bench on the back of the house and install a fountain and lantern... so there is a lot left to do! I'll post photos of the progress as more and more gets done. This could be an all-summer project!