Sunday In New Albany, Japan

Click picture to enlarge

Sunday, Mom and I went to An Asian Garden Tour and Culture Workshop sponsored by The Center for Cultural Resources and the Students for Diversity Club of Indiana University Southeast. The “gardens” were not what we in the Western tradition think of as gardens: lots of plants, preferably with flowers on them. These gardens were little jewels, little bites of richness to be savored for quality rather than quantity.

Here’s the only picture I took on the tour. The other spaces were so intimate and complex, they wouldn’t have come across in a photograph.

We also received packets listing the nine design techniques and seven basic elements of Japanese gardens.

Design Techniques

  1. enclosure and entry
  2. void and accent
  3. balance and asymmetry
  4. planes and volume
  5. symbology
  6. borrowed scenery
  7. mitate (one thing standing in for another)
  8. pathways and bridges
  9. master planning (letting the garden grow and flow with landscape and materials)

Design Elements

  1. rocks
  2. white sand
  3. water
  4. plantings
  5. bridges
  6. sculptured ornaments
  7. walls and fences

We were invited to make our own small zen gardens to take home, but I declined. I used to have a zen garden in the house, until the cats discovered it and did some of their own organic composition and raking.

I’m posting today at Fatal Foodies on Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef mystery EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS and at Echelon Exploration on more of the origin and transformation of FORCE OF HABIT.

WRITING PROMPT: Would your main character be interested in having a zen garden? Why or why not? Write a paragraph in which he or she HAS to make one.




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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