Japanese Tea Gardens – Create Your Own Japanese Sanctuary | gardening

What is the difference between a Japanese tea garden and a Japanese garden? A tea garden is often associated with residences and are essentially paths leading to a Japanese tea house. They are often much more secluded and private, reflecting the process of leaving our ordinary world and lifestyle and entering into a special a place.Many Japanese gardens are meant to be viewed from a certain perspective or observation spot, while tea gardens are often more geared toward the experience of walking through a garden and taking in the atmosphere. Of course there are strolling gardens (Kai-yu shiki), but again the process is different. The best view of a tea garden is after passing through the entrance gate and entering the tea house grounds. Machi-ai, or waiting benches, are also great places to sit and take in the experience before continuing on the tea house.In a tea garden, or Roji in Japanese, the detailed placement of stepping-stones is meant to keep your focus on the ground, not letting the mind wander to far from the path. On a practical level, these stepping-stones, which are raised above the soil line, are there to keep your feet from getting dirty after it rains.These Serene Gardens are meant to bring about the image of a mountain pass or a stroll up to a hermit’s house deep in the woods. It often conflicts with the more refined, elegant, and tightly pruned Japanese garden often seen from a temple porch, imperial palace, or art museum. It doesn’t mean that there is no pruning done, but the selected shrubs and trees are pruned a little more naturally.In general, I would suggest that Japanese gardens tend to be about 75% evergreen (plants that keep their leaves all year) and 25% deciduous (plants that loose their leaves in winter). Of the 25% deciduous materials the majority are probably Japanese maple trees. Bright, attention-grabbing flowers are rarely used. Especially in the tea garden, a rustic natural look is desired so flowering trees may be used but still kept to a minimal use. A white flowering Dogwood is a great example of an elegant tree that would fit well in this type of garden. Azaleas are often highly sculpted in the general Japanese garden, but are left a little rougher in a tea garden.Because the focus of a Roji path is on experience, the process of walking through often leads one to smaller outside rooms, creating a small journey for the person. There are often many curves, which intrigue and keep you guessing as to what is to come around the next corner.That being said, contemporary tea gardens sometimes push the limits of what is acceptable in a traditional tea garden. I believe that modern architecture of the Japanese home is also influencing the way many contemporary garden designers create their gardens. In Japan we are seeing more open style tea gardens with less shade. A more modern garden may very well compliment an avant-garde Japanese tea house.Authentic Japanese garden landscape companies such as Serene Gardens are great places to look for ideas on Japanese gardening. A good site will have Japanese garden tips, ideas, and products that will help you build the type of garden or interior space that fits your lifestyle.

Teenage Gambling and Addiction | Gambling

Gambling today is all around us. From the local lottery to football pools at work, gambling has become as much a part of our lives as shopping or eating with the family. But for millions of teens it may develop into so much more than the occasional bet with friends.It can become an obsession, a way of life. The problem of gambling compulsively is a crippling illness that can destroy families, friends, jobs, and lives. Many history books specializing in the study of the legal aspects of gambling, argue that gambling in the United States has gone through three historical phases. Gambling thrived during the colonial and post revolutionary periods. Governments supported and encouraged lotteries.Lotteries however were not the only type of gambling during this time. Wagering on horse racing was another popular form of gambling. Racing though was not quite as organized or as complex as modern day horse racing. Instead the gambling was only between a few owners of horses and their partisans. The first racetrack in the United States was built in Long Island, New York in 1665. With the end of Jacksonian morality, came the end of the first phase, gambling scandals and outright fraud caused the ban of lotteries and gambling. By 1862, all states expect Kentucky and Missouri outlawed lotteries. The second phase began after the civil war.Southern states that were desperate for revenue turned to lotteries. New laws were enacted legalizing gambling houses so that states could collect taxes on them. As gambling moved west it became more pervasive, and laws were much more difficult to enforce. In the 1890s scandals in the Louisiana lottery resulted in new anti-lottery laws. Legislation banning lotteries in many states soon followed, some were even written into the State Constitution.The second wave of legal gambling was short-lived. Scandals and the rise of Victorian morality led to the end of legal gambling. Virtually all forms of gambling were prohibited in the United States by 1910. There was legal betting in only 3 states, which allowed horse racing, but even that number shrank in years following. The thoughts about gambling ran so strong that Arizona and New Mexico were required to outlaw casinos to gain statehood.The prohibition however did not stop gambling. There were many types of illegal gambling houses. Some operated openly for many years, but had to pay protection money to the law enforcement authorities for this privilege. The third and present phase began during the great depression of the 1930′s. The great depression led to a much greater legalization of gambling.The anti-gambling mood changed as major financial problems gripped the country, especially after the stock market crash of 1929. This societal problem, like teenage smoking, drinking and drug abuse, is yet one more area we will need to give attention to.Interested in another subject? Try this link for more information [ http://www.teenaddictionanonymous.org/ ]