Koto Jazz 68: Mini Garden

Simplicity is my theme here in this basic mini- garden in Boulder, Colorado. A total of only $10 was spent on this serene mini scene. While space is not as much a premium in the vast expand of this globally trend-setting Rocky Mountain city, I still brought my creative miniaturization impulses with me from the Pacific Northwest city life. This mini garden replaced a common area lawn that had completely died away.

I seek to capture the surrounding area using local assets such a variation of rock and stones, elegant spacing, mini flowering bulbs such as dwarf tulips and mini- daffodils, along with naturally growing ground covers such as violets and forget-me-nots. Being in this semi-arid region that boasts 320-plus days of sunshine a year, it also helps to add a few desertous (new word) plants as accents to the mini garden image. These include a bonsai-style and shaped juniper in the background, and an ornamental grass off to the left.

I used pinkish- white marble rocks to outline the plants and stones in this mini-garden. I also created a mini dry creek that meanders from one end of the mini-garden to the other to give it a natural flow. Finally, I made a pretty rough but natural lantern out of local stones and a brick. The beauty of mini-gardens is that they fit into spaces of just about any size. 🙂


Recovery Song: Higher Power Song

I’ve been active in a large number of spiritually based recovery programs, from 12-step programs to Buddhist and non-sectarian meditation or yoga recovery groups.

Unfortunately, human as we are, I have been violated, spiritually and otherwise, at the hands of a few men of the cloth. I later learned I had shut down memories of one priest to the point where I actually invited him years later to come back into my life and co-reside in my first wedding. It was an extremely difficult journey to forgive, especially forgive myself.

These recovery groups have been indispensable to my own spiritual and emotional recovery. Here is the very first recovery song I’ve ever written. It’s not a journey I take too lightly, but it is in fact loads of fun being a person in recovery. 🙂

Higher power song –

Each Step by si-ngle step I search for Thee,
In wandering dreams hear Spirit songs to sing;
When rocky spires I scale to reach, to see
Fair meadows gold and flower- painted hills.

Where frightened soul to darker days might yield,
I find my frailty far be-yond my will.
So to the Wind, which blows to where it please.
We hear its sound, and follow where it leads ?

The fragile mind whose fears do block our view
Of loving heart with gentle drops of dew,
Oh give me strength to… surrender all my cares,
At waters edge, let tears of grace give way.

Oh higher power, we hand our hearts to thee,
In wondrous dreams with Spirit songs we sing;
When rocky spires we scale to reach to be
Fair meadows gold and tainted bonsai tree.

KotoJazz 67: Spacing in Gardens

Probably the most well known concept around spacing in gardens is Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening”. This first and foremost applies to vegetable gardens, but can be applicable to spacing in ornamental gardens as well. Here is an exploration of spacing for garden designs.

All plants ornamental or otherwise, need space to grow, and a minimum of twelve inches apart is generally a good growing space principal. Open spaces are critical, especially in dry Zen gardens where open spaces represent the open sea. In Japanese gardens, open spaces are often the center piece of Japanese gardens, while plants and stones provide the backdrop or outline.

Koto Jazz 66: Gong Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! (belated)

Come join a celebration at the end of the Chinese New Year on March 6th, 6-8pm, Friday, Dragonfly Holistic Healing across from the Fremont bridge is having a “Chinese New Year” celebration open house, featuring koto jazz piano by Chris Kenji at Dragonfly Holistic Healing, 760 N. 34th Street, Seattle, WA 98103; Fremont neighborhood. Website: DragonflyHolisticHealing.com. Come join us for a Free Admission party. Gang Xi Fat Cai!