Deconstruction of a tea house

This is a fascinating deconstruction of a tea house. It’s all glass, whereas tea houses of the past were dark, enclosed spaces where you could hardly see. Light and shadow were paramount aspects. But here – all is revealed.

I would love to have tea in this space. Moving through the Roji one is certainly transformed.

Glass tea house

This glass tea house mondrian’ by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto unites wood, glass and water as a pavilion, holding the traditional Japanese tea ceremony within its transparent wall. Read more about this tea house inspired by Venetian Glass.

 

30 billion dollars a year

I heard that gardeners spend 30 billion dollars a year on gardening stuff. That dollar amount is so huge I had to double check it on Google. It’s accurate.

What are we all spending money on? For me it’s perennial and annuals every spring. I’m making a woodland garden and searching for wonderful Lady Slippers, Maidenhair Ferns and Japanese Peonies. But what are other people spending their money on?

Yesterday I went to the annual Trade Secrets fundraising event nearby in Connecticut which features sales of rare plants and garden antiques. It was crowded with people who had turned out on a beautiful Saturday to buy… garden stuff!

Here’s what caught my eye:

First I made a bee line for Hillside Nursery which sells rare and delicate woodland plants. They have an amazing selection (more later).

Then I went to my favorite vendor Campo de Fiore. I can’t believe what they do with pots and plants in them. I had to restrain myself from getting a potted Begonia – I’m not having luck with potted plants, so I just admired what they had.

Campo de Firori exotic planting.

Campo de Firori exotic planting.

 

I really wanted to get this acorn or pineapple pot.

I really wanted to get this acorn or pineapple pot.

 

Then I got tempted by the mushrooms. I secretly want a garden filled with gnomes and magical mushrooms.

This giant fish is fantastic

This giant fish is fantastic

As you can see, I spent a long time here, but restrained myself. This fish terracotta adornment for the garden was about $1000.00. Yikes.

Then I strolled around.

I saw some antique garden furniture, but mostly I was looking for woodland perennial treasures. My garden is fairly restrained. Gnomes, fish, topiary and big stuff just don’t suit my garden or me – but I’m happy to fantasize.

These are the coolest topiary. I'm not sure what evergreen they are.

These are the coolest topiary. I’m not sure what evergreen they are.

Now these giagantic terracotta pots I could really use. But alas, they are very, very expensive. Maybe this is where the 30 billion starts to show up.

Now these gigantic terracotta pots I could really use. But alas, they are very, very expensive. Maybe this is where the 30 billion starts to show up.

But there was more and even more. I started to get overwhelmed.

Piles of pots

Piles of pots

And more piles of pots

DSC00297-sm

and piles of other gardening things

DSC00298-sm

Finally I got away and on my way home made it to oneof my favorite places for trees, shrubs and super perenials – Old Farm Nurseries

Geesh – look what they’ve got here!

What is this? Really?

What is this? Really?

So maybe this is some of what we are all buying that comes to 30 billion a year. A bit over the top for me. Yet I did come home with some delicate sweet wooland plants that I hope will flourish and prosper. Stay tuned.

Planting these wonderful woodlanders in my old woodpile. Cypripedium pubescens – Yellow Lady Slipper Podophyllum peltatum – Mayapple Diphylleia cymosa – Umbrella Leaf Adiantum pedatum - Maidenhair Fern

Planting these wonderful woodlanders in my old woodpile.
Cypripedium pubescens – Yellow Lady Slipper
Podophyllum peltatum – Mayapple
Diphylleia cymosa – Umbrella Leaf
Adiantum pedatum – Maidenhair Fern

 

Stones are priceless

Stones are priceless in Japan. I”ve seen gardens created in the 16th century that have stones and rocks imported from far away that are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. It”s part of the statement of a lord or king”s garden – or in Japan”s case – the Shogun”s garden. Just look at Versailles if you can”t travel to the east. It”s the same mentality.

I shy away from that sort of thing and rely on what is near at hand with only a suggestion of intent – not of wealth and power – but of a turning inward and coming back to a sense of self amidst the ordinary.

However, I can”t help but be in awe of this place:

When Okubo Tadazane, lord of Odawara (present-day Kanagawa Prefecture) sent thousands of fist-sized rounded beach stones to Emperor Kokaku for his garden in 1815, each one came wrapped individually in silk cloth.

 

 

Arrange flowers as if they were growing wild in a field

The Tea Ceremony as we know it today was created in 16th century Japan by the Tea master Rikyu. The flowers in the tea room are placed according to his insight and reveal an aesthetic of simple restraint. He said “To arrange flowers is to express the life of flowers.”

Each flower is enjoyed for its distinct color, shape, size and seasonal bloom. Equally appreciated are the vases that hold the flowers. They”re varied: rough pottery for use in winter, baskets in all shapes and sizes for summer, smooth bronze and blue and white porcelain for formal occasions. The flowers and vases have stories to tell, and in the tea room they are talked about and admired.

excerpt – A Tea Garden in Tivoli