Small Meditation Space

mommyoJune 12, 2006

Hi all,

New to this forum and this way of gardening. We are going to be moving in July and in our new yard, we're going to recreate our pond but I wanted to keep it somewhat contained because I have a one year old who will be walking very soon. I came up with the idea of having an outdoor meditation space with a small pond. I've always wanted a Japanese style garden and so now that I have a "blank slate" to start with I thought I'd do it. My question is, is this a proper thing to do in a Japanese garden? I would like to use a more decorative fence then use climbing vines to somewhat disguise it. Any ideas or thoughts as to this idea? Has any one done it on here and do you have photos?

Our new back yard is almost 1/2 acre and is bordered by other yards and a corn / soybean field at the back. I would like to have just a small, say 15 x 15 space for my meditation area. Like I said, I'm a mom to a one year old, I'm going to need a meditation area!!! :)

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terrestrial_man(9)

Forget about what you may consider to be a pond per se.
Think about a very shallow pool. Perhaps only 4 to 6 inches deep. Make it rectangular. Have redwood planking along the edge of it that slightly overhangs it. Maybe get a plant of Equisetum in a very nice pot and set into a part of the pool. Then find a nice largish rock that will stick out of the pool. Then get some mosquito fish and fish food. That is all you need. No pump. No filter. No water movement apart from the wind pushing at the surface or you tossing a pebble into it or the fish rippling the surface as you feed them. You could have bamboo fencing around part of it and maybe a small maple or willow that overhangs it. Don't even worry about the color if it gets green. Not important for contemplative purposes. It will be like a soft bed upon which your mind rests.
Click here to visit the Summer Palace of Chinese royalty-put this link on your favorites
Click here to site and scroll down to image for relaxation

With an infant you nor the child needs all the humdrum of techno babble even though your orientation may be conditioned to consider such as the usual. Think outside the box. Also goggle Tao as sometimes there are cool images on such sites and these sites tend to generate a focus towards your inner being. this is vital for a young mother and is important for the child of one as well through the induction of energy from the mother to child.
Just be sure to insist that your spot of serenity is kept that!!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 3:34PM
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terrestrial_man(9)

To add to the above:
I found the Taoist site I was thinking about.
Click here
Scan down to the Tao Sanctuary part and click there and you will find some interesting links.
cheers.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:39AM
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mommyo

Thank you for the insight. And that sounds absoultely lovely though I don't know that I could be at rest with green water :) But I suppose I could learn :)

I have two large koi (that I've had for 4 years) that I don't want to give up. Maybe they could go in another pond outside of my space. They need filtration and some of the technobabble anyway. I keep things to a minimum anyway.

You're certainly right in that the absence of electricity in my sacred space is essential. It just feels better even thinking of it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 10:43PM
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terrestrial_man(9)

Depending on how you shade the area you may not have to contend with green water at all or only for a short time. The koi really need a deeper pool though can survive without any filtration etc.
Anyhow do draw out your design before jumping into it. I would recommend a very fast and easy pool to put up using
the flat heavy plastic cement mixing trough that you can find in the cement part of Home Depot or a similar store.
If you need an image to visualize let me and I can image it and post it here. It would be the perfect size! and you would not have to bother with a liner etc.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 3:26AM
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terrestrial_man(9)

I had a chance to measure an empty one I had and it is
32 inches long by 21 inches wide by 8 inches deep. It may be small for your needs. There are also those shallow round preforms that might work for you.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 2:36AM
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mommyo

Great Idea! I just spent about two hours moving the rest of the fish out to the pond outside and rearranging. I will certainly look into the cement trough. That's a great idea. I also have two 50 gallon (one round one oval) stock tanks. I could use one of those. We're going to have to use the 250 gallon one to house our fishes in the new house until I get the pond built. But the smaller stock tank would be perfect. Thanks for all your help! I did check out the tao site. Great site thank you!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 5:35PM
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george_in_the_uk(UK)

Hi,
If you are looking to build a filter for your pond take a look at mine which is a DIY filter and works a treat,just click on the filter page, you may also get an idea for your small meditation garden.just click on the link below to my website.
George.

Here is a link that might be useful: George's Japanese Garden

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 4:15PM
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zzepherdogg(7)

I have done the little starter pond with the cement tub that Terrestrial Man mentioned. It worked very well for a couple years, plenty long for me to get to the next Phase. they actually make 2 sizes, be sure to get the largest one. I put a row of cement foundation blocks around it capped with 8x15x1 inch pavers. they looked smooth and cool and nice.I was able to get a type of foundation block that is 6x15 instead of the standard 8 wide, so the paver cap covered the plastic lip of the tub.I did sink the tub a bit for extra insulation. Then I surrounded it with pots of ferns and hostas. It was up against an ugly chain link fence, so I covered the fence with 6ft tall split bamboo screen/matting. I use this not so much for a meditation spot, as for a retreat, and as a place to show off part of my fuchsia colection, so I also made a narrow long 'arbor" out of an old orchard ladder attached so that it is parrallell to the top of the fence. its attached to the fence on that side and has posts for support on the loose side. this is handy to me, because I can hang some of the fuchia pots from it, and well I suspended a 2x6 plank from the rungs like a shelf half way between the water and the rungs, so there is plant space on the cement block ledge, on the suspended plank and hanging from the rungs, as well as clustered around the base. I call this my "Grotto". I love the ripply reflection of the watter on the bamboo matting. it has water lettuce and water hyacenth in it, and a couple of Japanese floats. the area out from the front of the pool is covered with pavers, so it has an old, cool tranquil feel, I can sit ther for hours, even tho I have upsized to a bigger little Pool, I still have the plan about the same. most people who come into the garden dont want to leave this to look at any thing else : )

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:38AM
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mommyo

zeepher,

That sounds beautiful. Do you have a photo you could share? I'm having a hard time picturing the ladder, but then again, I'm at work and so am reading very quickly. We're still waiting to close on the new house, but my head is swimming with all the wonderful possibilities. I like the idea of a chain link fence with bamboo screening. That might be the answer to my problem. As you read, I have a one year old who is very active and curious and now all of a sudden is fascinated by water - especially if it's moving :) SO, we have to be double cautious and I think I'll have to forego my large pond for now. So this would be perfect.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 10:32AM
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zzepherdogg(7)

Hey there, An orchard ladder has round rungs, like big dowels, and some have one end that is much wider than the other, (Like the bottom is wide for stability, Mine is not that way,) you would want to consider how the wide part would stick out into the garden, my little oasis is in a front section that extends from a fence corner. SO... imagine you are going to hang the lader horizontaly form the top of the fence, like it would ride along on a ladder truck. I did this actually by wiring one long side of the ladder on to the top bar of the fence. at this point the rungs of the ladder are hanging verticly, and the other side of the ladder is leaning down against the fence. Imagine a row of Joined capital letter "I"'s IIIIIIIIIIIII :) then, you figure out where the legs, or support posts could fit, along the ends of the water spot, my ladder is about 12 feet long, and my water spot is about 5 Id guess, so the ladder is going to extend over the ends. then flip the dangling or south side of the lader up and attach the posts to suport it. I used 2x2's and they worked fine. I wedged them up against the bottom of a rung, on the inside of the side rail of the lader. now it will lay like a rack, with one long side supported by the fence, and one long side supported by the posts, I didnt use more than 4. then to add a 2nd shelf, I took a 2x6 boaRD, and put fairly large cup hooks into the sides, about a foot in from the ends, attached wires to the cup hooks and hung it from the rungs, agout half way beteen the top surface of the water spot, and the top or the lader. plants can go on this. if you think there is any chance some one might bump it, or the wind might shake it, (I cant imagine that, but I guess it could, ) you could also wire it to the fence. I cant take a picture of it, dont have a digital camera, I am trying to enlist some one to do that as we speek. Hope this helps, :) Thank you for your kind words.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 2:04AM
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