Don, Edzard, Mark, anyone...
A garden worker at a small garden in Colorado asked me to check out the name given to their garden.
Shosan-en, she says, was translated to her as Soaring mountain garden. Is that correct?
Is there anyone who could do a kanji plaque for the garden entry?
The original garden designer died five years ago and they've been foundering until earlier this year.
KT, the roji at SF Zen Center just had a plaque made, it cost a fair amount to do it. Not sure what the budget is, and the carver is in the SF area, but I could look into that. it might take a little while to make the connection, I know that the director of the program there worked on that for a while.
As for the name: Shou, sobieru, to soar, most often used for mountains.
Thank you Mark. That's helpful.
I will forward the information to her and see what she says about the sign. She may have someone in mind in Colorado, but I'm not sure.
K.T., a nice plaque can be made from a piece of weathered cedar or cypress with a propane torch with a wood burner tip. Have someone from the local Japanese America Society to draw the kanji on the board, then burn it in deeply. Use a wire brush or water blaster to remove the burned wood but not so much as to remove the darkening, else you will need to paint the burns.
It is important to make a decision on the orientation of the kanji - vertical or horizontal. Vertical for me!
Here's a photo of one we saw recently in Phoenix Arizona at Rho Ho En.
Not burned, but very nice.
Here's another example from the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. This sign is by the guest house and I'm told it reads An Do So, House of Peace and a play on the Anderson name.