The idea to create an Asian-inspired garden in this wooded back yard began by taking note of the clean roof lines on the ranch-style home. The garden needed an entrance, a destination, a story and a purpose. The clients originally contacted me out of their desire to add a dry creek bed to aid in water run-off. We needed a bridge over the creek bed in order to access the back yard. I designed a contemporary version of a traditional yatsuhashi, or Japanese zig zag, bridge, visualizing a granite mountain plateau with a peak
breaking through. The clients purchased the concrete Japanese lantern which complements the bridge perfectly. Together, these two installations set the tone for the garden.
My desire was to tell a story and to create a sense of journey through the space. Once the visitor crosses the bridge, he wanders down a meandering serpentine gravel walkway with boulders cut into the metal edging, signifying man's desire to subdue nature but, in the process, nature makes a reappearance. After a short journey through the woodland garden, which is planted with over 150 ferns, rhododendron, dwarf hemlocks and Japanese maples, the visitor reaches a destination point: a rectangular gravel seating area enclosed by a backer board clad knee wall. Bamboo, mimicked by a vertical rebar installation, is contained in a backer board planter in this area. We finished off this area by creating an adjoining series of backer board clad planters, planted somewhat more formally in a grid pattern, and continued the backer board up the corner of the rear fence, again to bring horizontal continuity from the front to back corner of this rectangular garden space.