I think I’ve been fascinated by Japanese gardens ever since I first laid eyes on one. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more and more enthralled with the idea of building my own one day. And if I did, it would have to include a tea house.
The primary problem with this dream is that my future home may not be in a style that would be conducive to a pond, stream, or stone lanterns. A Craftsman with a tea house in the back would just look a little funny.
So, lately, I’ve been thinking about a Japanese-inspired garden. Perhaps a tea house that doubles as an office. I could still, maybe, have a small pond and a few coy, but that depends on how many mosquitos it would bring to my back yard.
I imagine pebbled walkways and a Japanese maple, cherry tree, or possibly the few pines that already exist in my piedmont setting. I also envision a circular path that leads to the tea house—for walking and thinking, of course.
My tea house might resemble something like a pool house except that it would have shōji-style windows. They might slide, and they may look a little more like French doors, but I would design it, so the windows went all the way around. I would equip the tea house with a sofa and chairs for entertaining. And maybe a desk for writing.
I think it could be all right if there’s no water in the garden. There will be plenty of that at the beach house, my second home. Maybe more water than I bargained for considering the rising sea-level and the fact that I’m thinking beachfront.
photo: Galen Crout