Japanese Gardens – Stonework & tenba

Date April 23, 2012

The use of stones and rocks in Japanese gardens or Zen gardens is an essential element in their design and success; in fact they are the backbone of most Japanese gardens. Quality stonework is essential and achieved through an understanding of how to aesthetically set stones. One by one they are set where the end […]

Japanese Gardens – Stone Walk

Date April 7, 2012

A nobedan walk is a type of pathway, or stone walk, found in Japanese gardens. These pathways utilize unique stone pavement layout and design principles. Nobedan are often found in tea and entry gardens. It is an art of arranging various sized stones in a design that is artistic and functional. They help to create […]

Japanese Gardens – Shoe Removal Stones

Date March 21, 2012

The shoe removal stone, or kustu-nugi-ishi, literally is the stone you stand on when removing your shoes before entering a Japanese home. These stones are generally found in the foyer of the home or adjacent to an engawa, or veranda, where you access the garden from the home. The shoe removal stone also delineates where […]

Japanese Garden Edge Stonework

Date February 28, 2012

More and more people are looking to Japanese garden for inspiration, or to create an authentic Japanese garden of their own. In addition to a well thought out plan good stone work is the back bone of the garden. Many publications write about 3 and 5 stone arrangements known as ishi-gumi and iwa-gumi. Although these […]

Japanese Gardens – Large Stones

Date February 14, 2012

From stepping stones, bridge stones, specimen boulders, nobedan walks, a variety of gravels and hand carved stone features, stones make-up the backbone of any Japanese Garden and should be considered an important investment into your Japanese Garden project. So, when designing and constructing your Garden make sure to account for and invest in stones and […]

Japanese Garden Bridge Stones

Date December 23, 2011

There are a number of bridge styles to choose from when creating a Japanese garden. They vary in shape, materials and the way in which they are constructed. In this garden we used a flat single stone slab bridge with no center support. Natural stones that are just the right length, width and thickness can […]

Frank Lloyd Wright and Niwa Design Studio have something in common

Date November 2, 2011

Niwa Design Studio applies its knowledge of Japanese garden design principles to a Frank Lloyd Wright home near Still Water,Minnesota.  Niwa’s client, who owned an original Frank Lloyd Wright house plan, hired an architect to help interpret the plan and construct the home on the shores of a Minnesota lake.  The mountain scene entry garden […]

Japanese Garden Pathway tobishi stepping stones

Date October 31, 2011

There are several different types of pathways used in Japanese and other garden types.  Here in one of our garden project in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, we used a tobishi style path as a short cut off of the main gravel pathway.  The tobishi stepping stones in this case are hand carved limestone pads which […]

Japanese Garden Entrance

Date October 29, 2011

This garden entrance is flanked with a pair of beautifully carved limetsone shigu.  Shigu is actually a Chinese word used to describe the type of sculpture shown in the picture.  Although the bases are actually unfinished the detailed carving of the dragons, foo dog heads and the phoenix or mythical fire birds.  These decorative stone […]

Japanese Garden Stone & Rock Work – ishigumi

Date January 26, 2011

The stonework in this project contains many Japanese garden principles.  One of which can be seen in the photo,  of a three stone ishigumi arrangement, which has a primary viewing point from the great room of the house through a sliding glass door. Ishigumi, also known as iwagumi, is the art of installing stones into a […]