I lived for some years in Vancouver, BC. The day I visited the Nitobi Garden at the University of British Columbia, the chashitsu happened to be closed. However, a kindly woman at Information open the building for me and I was able to spend some time there more or less alone. I fell in love with the place. “I could live here”, I thought.
This helps to explain why, years later, I’m in France, halfway through building a traditional Japanese house of 95 m2. Once the house is finished, I will start on the garden. (At the moment the grass is as high as an elephant's eye). So far I’ve planted apple, plumb and persimmon trees. The land has a gentle slope which required some leveling for the house. That work has produced a pile of large stones which will become part of a dry garden. As the French say, “Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid”. Little by little the bird builds its nest.
I note a number of members have posted questions from time to time on the topic of tea houses. Recently, I designed some chashitsu and sama-hausu which might be of interest. I’ve set up a web site, have an arrangement with a local manufacturer and a supplier of doors and tatami in Japan. The question now is whether I have a product worth promoting. I would welcome comments and suggestions, favorable or not, as the case may be.
Best Wishes : Hubert