Blast Rock vs Natural Rock

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by Zaelthus, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Zaelthus

    Zaelthus Member

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    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Hi, I'm in the process of building a hybrid Japanese/conifer type garden and am selecting boulders to be moved. I have a choice between blast rocks or natural roundish shaped rock. For a Japanese themed garden which looks best?

  2. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    Odd that no one answered this question. And UBC has a Japanese garden! I have not stopped by too much lately, but hope to discuss things again. I am interested in this too -- I have used a combo of fake rocks [the lightweight ones, not sure what they are made of, I think some kind of volcanic stuff, skillfully coloured, they fooled my scientific, geologically-inclined husband who only glanced at them in passing until I finally pointed them out] and blasted real ones that I picked carefully because they didn't look too harsh or fresh... I think one can create from one's own intuition about what looks beautiful... the Japanese gardening books have lots on this topic, the shapes [often upright tall ones] and clusters used traditionally... one can either choose to follow the traditions closely or branch out a bit...
  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    gulf island, bc, canada
    The short answer would be: both.

    The rounded stones work for dry watercourses, or partially sunk into the ground. The blast rock often works better for upright stones, mountain groupings, etc. The two work together as well: groupings of blast rock, with soil deposited around them, form features and the rounded stones embedded around the base of these groups (intermittently) can help 'taper' the mound- AKA helps to soften the boundary between the harsh blast rock and the grass/sand/gravel open space.

    To sum it up (as I tend to approach it)...blast rock for mountains, round rock for water and punctuating open space. Sometimes you wish to blend mountain effect with water (small valleys) this case, you blend the two accordingly.

    These are very much personal rules of thumb: true japanese gardens accord with very formal principles which might break it down quite differently. Generally, though, it breaks down much like I've described. Best answer will be gained by doing a google image search of 'japanese garden' or 'japanese garden stone features', and observing how each is employed.

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