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Zen Courtyard

A quiet sanctuary at the days’ end is a dream for anyone.  The expanse of glass at the entry to the home provides a full view of a restful courtyard and a soothing spot for the mind.  This Asian inspired space is simple at first glance, but as always with Japanese gardens, there is more than meets the eye.  The entire courtyard functions as the central gathering point for the home’s water from the adjoining roofs and their gutter systems.  The retaining walls were necessary to give the space height and structure, as well as to provide cover for the existing structure’s concrete basement wall.  Constructed of Mesa block, a locally produced concrete product, the wall was an economical and simple, yet attractive material for the walls and stairs.  Locally produced permeable pavers were also used as the pavement in the courtyard to provide more green space and also help to reduce the water runoff. The garden plants are minimal in keeping with a modern, simple Japanese garden.  The ‘Lady in Red’ lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ‘Lady In Red’) dazzles with its soft foliage, impressive size, and red stems.  In the raised beds, bamboo is repeated along with bright creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) to cascade over the sides by the middle of each season.  Over the course of four years, the garden has molded into my original intentions (or as close as possible), but has provided me with patience and meditating along the way.  Patience is the virtue of a Japanese garden, and really any garden. Frankfort, KY 2009

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