Japanese Tea Garden
This ordinary backyard is transformed into a modern Japanese retreat.
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Rolls of bamboo fencing quickly hide the concrete wall and fence. Once a piece of bamboo is cut, the pump hose is snaked through it and the pump is placed inside a decorative urn, which is then filled with water.
Instead of permanently altering the gazebo, the iron work is camouflaged with bamboo shades and the valance is simply tucked under to create simpler, cleaner lines. Lightweight screens add more privacy, while hanging lanterns and a floor mat provides the perfect backdrop for a low table ready to serve tea.
This table is low so that guests can enjoy their tea in the traditional manner, with feet off while sitting on floor pillows. Natural tones of brown and green lend to the serene and tranquil setting.
Once a weed barrier is arranged, two large rocks are carefully set in position to make the rock garden (the tall one represents a crane and the shorter one a tortoise to indicate long life, meditation and peace). Two inches of small gravel fills in the area and a rake creates a downward stream. A circle around the rocks indicates a ripple effect and one's resistance to time.
floor mats, bamboo shades (Home Depot)
bamboo fencing, tabletop (Lowe's)
bamboo for fountain (Orchard Supply Hardware)
gong and lanterns (Cost Plus World Market)
Learn how each square foot of space was utilized in this small backyard, which features feng shui style.
An inviting, cottage-inspired garden combines lots of flagstone and colorful flower beds.(4 photos)
Low-cost additions like cottage birdhouses and a rustic window box help carry the cottage-garden theme.