Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Though the terms Zen and feng shui are commonly used in the Western world today, and their Far Eastern origins are typically recognized, accurate meanings may be hard for most to pin down. Zen has been translated at times as absorption or meditative state. Traced to the 6th century, it is a school of Buddhism that emphasizes personal insight through meditation and the expression of that insight in daily life. Literally translated in English as 'wind water', both of which are said to be associated with good health in the Chinese culture, feng shui is the practice of choosing or configuring a structure or a site, and the objects within, so as to harmonize with the spiritual forces that inhabit it, thereby bringing wellbeing and fortune to the people that inhabit it. Feng Shui was reportedly developed over 3,000 years ago. It is conversely described as an art, a science, and a complex body of knowledge, and for Terry Sims, a landscape designer and contractor, it was the foundation for a Zen garden that she was contracted to design for a family from China now living in Boise, Idaho. That's where Sims award-winning company, The Garden Artist Inc., has been in business for 10 years specializing in high-end outdoor living areas; finding projects through referrals, their Web site (thegardenartistidaho.com), and various social media for that work. Referring to this project, Sims says, "My customers wanted to achieve a landscape reminiscent of their native China and designed around the fundamentals Top, Left: In spite of sounding paradoxical, to ensure a natural look, the boulders were painstakingly placed. The streambed is lined with river rock. Bottom, Right: Gravel and rubble make up the base of the dry streambed that acts as a secondary water collection basin. A 'bridge' across it is made from three slabs of sandstone. The boulders in this bed symbolize secondary homes for the family's ancestors. 62 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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