Stepping Stones

Welcome to our garden stepping stones article. Turf was not used in ancient Japanese gardens, although of late it has been introduced in imitation of foreign gardens, and with a view to economise labour in garden making. In an orthodox Japanese garden the plain open portions are spread with sand raked in patterns, or as is still more common, a firm beaten earth, well weeded and swept, is retained.

This is kept slightly damp at all times, to present a cool and fresh look. Because the Japanese wore wooden clogs, this would invariably cut the path to pieces, hence the introduction of "Stepping Stones" or Tsutai - ishi. Another name apllied to them is Tobi - ishi, meaning " Flying Stones, " because of the resemblance to the formation of birds in flight. Terms such as " Sea - Gull Style " and " Wild Goose Style " are terms used to describe such arrangements.These irregular flat stepping stones are referred to as" Shiki - Shama , " or Scatterd Islands, in reference to the islands of Japan.