Bare soil or 'beaten earth' and Japanese Gardens
I've been looking at some reproductions of Japanese prints and noticing that many of the gardens depicted seem to have extensive areas of bare soil--swept very clean. It's something I don't see so often in photographs of Japanese gardens, which seem to be mostly moss, gravel, and stone.
I remember Plantfreak mentioning in another thread that in gardens in Japan there are many areas of bare earth.
In my garden (not really a Japanese garden, but influenced) I'm experimenting with some bare earth areas, actually in the Deep South tradition of "swept yards." I'm using a rake rather than the traditional twig broom.
I only began several months ago, so my earth (really sand here) is still not as clean and neat as I hope it will be with more "sweeping."
My main concerns have been wind and water erosion. So far, these have not been a problem.
Anyway, I was wondering if any of you had bare earth areas in your gardens, how you maintained them. If anyone can recommend a book on Japanese gardening with photos/information on the use of bare earth in the garden, I'd be very interested in that, too.