He had cobbled together a bit of a bench using some fencing that originally encircled the lower deck. We had been so happy that most of his bonsai shipped safely via UPS from Houston to here. And since then he has joined a bonsai club...which means we now have even more bonsai!
The area looked like this!
After visiting several rock sales yards, and realizing that what was most important to me was being able to walk barefoot on the gravel without yelping "ouch ouch ouch" with each step, we went with "Spanish Pearl" a sandy colored washed 3/8th inch rock.
The piled ashler cut stone wall under the pine tree was an amazing co-incidence of opportunity: a neighbor was having her front planter torn out by the same guy who was going to do our little landscaping project. It is almost impossible to find that particular hand cut style stone any more.
The wall originally was a couple of wooden boards, and the stair steps just weren't there at all. Bernie selected the silver and greenish natural pavers to make a path through the gravel. A brick walkway still skirts the edge of the stairs, it will be easy to shovel it clear in winter.
After the crew was done, and the weekend came... Bernie began to build.
All the materials were found on the property. Very wabi sabi. (I'll explain that in another post.)
The word "bonsai" simply means potted. The artistry of the plants takes years to be developed. We have learned so much via this hobby, or I should say, I have learned a lot by watching and listening to Bernie as he ponders his plants and plans their training.
He planted this Japanese maple forest about five years ago using two year old cuttings. Each spring when the leaves unfurl he has strip them all off to make the growth go back into the trunks, and the secondary leaf growth is much smaller and in scale with what he is trying to do with the trees. I love seeing the forest turn color in the fall!
The forest was shipped via UPS from Houston to here; we fretted and hoped for the best. The forest thankfully did fine with being re-located.