We are expecting another ice storm today and overnight, with more bad weather tomorrow, so I though I'd post where I am at present with the gatehouse for the Japanese vignette. We've already had 8 cm (more than 3") of soft, powdery snow, which has been removed from our drive and walkway. Freezing rain and sleet are heavier than concrete to move, hopefully there won't be too much! But I will likely have to miss yet another volunteer work day due to bad weather....
The upper portion of the gatehouse is ready to paint, the sliding door is done, and the threshold of the gate is ready to stain. The barred gate turned out to be somewhat of a problem child, so my Carpenter-in-Chief took it upon himself to assemble it. Even so, one of the cross pieces cracked, but fortunately, it doesn't show!
There will be a small thatched roof on the top and side of the gate, once I get the thing painted, and fully assembled, and the bars placed in the gable window. Then it will be on to the actual landscaping; rock and shrub walls alongside the gatehouse, with grass, trees, a walkway, plants and flowers on the courtyard, and some garden stuff like a water feature and stone lantern. But the actual build is now coming to an end.
I am using a Dover reprint (from 1964) of an old book from 1912, Josiah Conder's Landscape Gardening in Japan, for some of the features to come in the garden area. The big stone that will be placed in front of the narrow landing is called the Shoe-Removing Stone in this book; a combination of rock paving with slab paving is known as Stepping Stones with Label Stones. Loads of good ideas there, including traditional bamboo fencing variations.
And just to challenge myself even further, I am mentally designing a rhododendron for my miniature Japanese garden; the only example I've been able to find is a kit from The Netherlands, and I think it is a little out of scale for my purposes. If you can't find it already made up, I guess you have to "invent" it!