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Our Japanese Rock Garden

May 28, 2006

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Sunday, May 28, 2006 – Our Saturday jaunt to revisit Namco Land and check out Simachu Home Store, which had been closed Friday night, met with great success. The kids had a really fun time riding many of the Namco rides and it was enlightening to see the lengths that Japanese go to entertain children. (I’ll post about this rockin’ place later!)

At Simachu, just as we hoped, we found some white gravel and decorative rocks. We wanted to make a traditional Japanese rock garden in our front flower bed, which up until now was nothing more than black dirt. Before we moved in, our garden had been picked clean. Here’s the scoop on why our new dwelling garden was growing nothing more than a pile of dirt. Apparently, when a house on Post is emptied, i.e. when the people move out, anything and everything left behind in their yard becomes community property. I’ve learned that people all over the Post tell their friends when someone moves and anyone who wants to scavenge goes to the empty house and digs up flowers, takes bushes, removes decorative paving stones or bricks. Nothing is sacred. Honestly, I was shocked when I heard this. I’ve given it lots of thought, tried to see it from all perspectives, and I have concluded that I think it’s actually quite terrible. Sometimes it results in a well-maintained home being cannibalized and turned into a dirt pit. Such is the case here, although, thankfully, there is only a small area to pick apart. I even noticed that from the time we toured the house to the day we moved in a week later, someone had come by and taken more of the paving stones that were in the front. This house had been empty for more than a year, so it was definitely a case where people heard the house was going to be occupied and they decided they better hurry up and take whatever they wanted before the opportunity was gone. It’s totally ridiculous.

Slade and I were left with a large section of black dirt, some weeds and 3 square paving stones that had originally been more than 30. The bad part was that the black dirt was everywhere. The little boys next door play in it like a sandbox so it’s always covering our front sidewalk. Since it rains here very often, that means black mud is constantly coming in my house and I can’t keep my kids’ shoes clean to save my life. It’s maddening. So, Slade and I put our heads together and decided that, with this blank slate of black dirt we would make a rock garden that needs no pruning, no raking, and no maintenance.

That’s where Simachu came into play. We found the perfect white gravel and beautiful decorative rock and then came home and set to work. Today was the day we made our Japanese Rock Garden in our front walkway. We also added some bamboo touches to make it interesting. Next, I’m on the hunt for a stone pagoda to add to the scene.

It’s been so nice to come home each day to this clean-looking area, and the end result was pretty close to what we were hoping for. With 6 bags of gravel, though, we weren’t able to do the whole flower bed so we’ll have to save that project for another day, but at least we covered up the area where all the paving stones were stolen. And, the best part is, I’d like to see someone try to steal all this gravel when we leave!

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From → Japan

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