Japanese rock garden

 

Japanese rock garden

Japanese rock garden

Selection and arrangement of rocks

The selection and placement of rocks is the most important part of making a Japanese rock garden.   Creating a garden, is expressed as setting stones,  literally.   It is the act of setting stones upright.   For creating mountains, usually rugged mountain rocks with sharp edges, are used.   Smooth, rounded rocks are used for the borders of gravel rivers or sea shores.   Other unusual features too,  are often the star attraction of the garden.   In Japanese gardens, individual rocks rarely play the starring role.   The emphasis is upon the harmony of the composition.   For arranging rocks, there are many rules in the Sakuteiki.   For example:   Make sure that all the stones,   right down to the front of the arrangement, are placed with their best sides showing.   If a stone has an ugly-looking top you should place it so as to give prominence to its side.   Even if this means it has to lean at a considerable angle, no one will notice.  There should always be more horizontal than vertical stones.   If there are “running away” stones there must be “chasing” stones.   If there are “leaning” stones,   there must be “supporting” stones.”

Rocks are rarely if ever placed in straight lines or in symmetrical patterns. The most common arrangement is one or more groups of three rocks.   Basic combinations are a tall vertical rock with a reclining rock. Another is a short vertical rock and a flat rock.   Another is a triad of a tall vertical rock, a reclining rock and a flat rock.   Other important principles are to choose rocks which vary in colour, shape and size.   Try to avoid rocks with bright colors which might distract the viewer.   Make certain that the grains of rocks run in the same direction.

Sand and gravel

Gravel is usually used in zen gardens,  rather than sand,  because it is less disturbed by rain and wind.   The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water,  known as samon,  has an aesthetic function.   Zen priests practice this raking also to help their concentration.   Achieving perfection of lines is not easy.   Rakes are according to the patterns of ridges as desired and limited to some of the stone objects situated within the gravel area. Nontheless, o ften the patterns are not static.   Developing variations in patterns is a creative and inspiring challenge.

Stone arrangements and other miniature elements are used to represent mountains and natural water elements and scenes, islands, rivers and waterfalls. In most gardens moss is used as a ground cover to create “land” covered by forest.

MyAlberton

Japanese rock garden

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