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Old 06-12-2019, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
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Default Tsuboniwa Courtyard Garden | Dojo Terrarium

Tsuboniwa Courtyard Garden | Dojo Terrarium

I finally got substrate into this thing last night and started on the planting.

This is a new planting in Dojo Terrarium style inspired by the Tsuboniwa (Courtyard Gardens) of Kyoto, Japan. Unlike the real Tsuboniwa, this setup is entirely indoors and illuminated with artificial lighting—rather than being open to sky and lit with sunlight—but I hope it can create a similar visual atmosphere.

I built the enclosure with surface bonding cement over a core of insulation foam. I could have built a cement basin with "hypertufa" construction as is used for rock garden troughs, but this needs to be 100% waterproof and I also wanted it to be light in weight. I have not weighed it, but it doesn't feel like more than about 50 pounds.

Substrate is an ABG-style soil blend over an egg crate false bottom with a drain standpipe for siphoning drain water.

A Bambusa 'Golden Goddess' bamboo fills out the foliage vertical dimension. The photo attached with this first post shows plants in their pots while I was trying to find a good visual arrangement. I divided the bamboo and trimmed the roots back a little too much and it actually lost some foliage, but it should establish OK and grow back again. The groundcover layer is a diversity of nice little foliage plants. I'm still rearranging those and I'll write down a list when I have them all in place.

I'll write some more later. I really enjoyed making the enclosure. Concrete is kind of interesting as being a man-made material (and symbol of so much destruction of nature) but still having some of the character of natural stone.

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Old 06-13-2019, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
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Default Re: Tsuboniwa Courtyard Garden | Dojo Terrarium

Here are a few more photos for explaining this thing.

The layout will start to look like something when the bamboo regrows with new culms. The ground layer will also green up and look much better if I can get the groundcover plants to establish and spread. The planting is kind of busy with a few too many different kinds of plants. I will see how they grow and probably remove a few later on.

Notice that I also added two water basins buried with their rims even with the soil level. I hope that the groundcovers will grow tight around these to make an appearance of hidden springs.

The stone lantern feature is a vintage porcelain electrical insulator. I plan to make a concrete pedestal for it to the replace the plastic yogurt dish holding it up now and wire it with a few mini candlelight LEDs.

This will take a while to grow in. I hope it will start to shape up by the end of the summer.

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