Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Miniature Japanese Garden

It's not often that I go off topic, but every once in a while I can't help myself.  This post has very little to do with fiber unless you count the dried moss in the background.  It is creative however, and a fun project to do with the kids.

My son is reading about Asia in geography.  A particular section on Japan discussed their beautiful gardens and even listed the elements that you find in most gardens.  There's often a teahouse, a stone lantern, water, a bridge to an island or stepping stones.  I started thinking that it would be fun to create our own miniature Japanese garden.  

Here's my plan.  I have a large planter that is about 18" in diameter.  This will be the home of our garden.  A visit to my local hobby store produced this unfinished wooden birdhouse.  I think the shape looks a little teahouse inspired.  I also found some unfinished benches and chairs.  Some sparkling blue rocks will represent water and I also picked up some moss for ground cover.  I bought stones too, but after doing a little reading, I see that we'll have to be careful about the stones we choose and how we place them.  This Historical Japanese Gardens website will help with that and will enrich the educational part of our project.  I couldn't find a small stone lantern so I picked up grey modeling clay and we'll make our own and maybe a bridge too.  

I'm looking forward to spending an afternoon making a Japanese garden with my son.  It will be fun to design it together and make all of the elements.  Maybe we'll stain our teahouse and the garden benches.  Maybe there could be a little fiber after all in the form of a felted bird's nest with some tiny eggs.  Who knows?  Mainly, I want to have fun with my son and learn along the way.  I think a lot of kids would enjoy a project like this, so I thought I'd share the idea.  I think it would be fun to do with live plants or maybe in a terrarium.  There are plenty of creative possibilities!

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