Top positive review
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Best Guidebook for Planning Your First Japanese Garden
on August 23, 2003
Not a coffee table glamour book, not a glossed-over editorial toss-off destined for the remainder bin. This is quite simply the best guidebook for the amateur of the Japanese garden who wishes to try out the concepts at home.
It can be very frustrating to take home some fancy book on Zen gardens, only to find that it contains no real help for creating one. This book's real, step-by-step, practical advice is what anyone is after. It does not pretend to be the end-all of the art, & rather it admits this right from the title (A Japanese TOUCH...) This book will get you the right LOOK.
I found especially useful the diagrams of how to get balance (especially through rocks) within a space. There are some very good illustrations of bamboo fencing, too. Botanical suggestions and lists of suppliers are also helpful, but these lists are not exhaustive. You can achieve the basic framework with this book, though. I have yet to find a better Japanese gardening book... room for improvement is in expanding the above lists and adding practical suggestions for more ambitious, larger landscaping. But this will get you the basics.
Bonus delight is the first entry, a mood-setting piece on one man's contemplation of mountains and forests... all to be found in his tiny Japanese garden.
Grab a copy and use it and love your results!