My hubby & I purchased an acreage in Oct. I am a Master Gardener for over 10 yrs now.
We lived in our last home for 18 yrs-ran out of garden/flower space and had to move. ;D
There we built a 5000 gal pond with a small amount of Japanese garden feel.
Now we have the room and going to do the Japanese garden to it's fullest. Being in zone 5
has a little bit of limitations-we have started off so far with a lace leaf Japanese maple-
a Harry Lauder walking stick-planted on a mound with dry creek and flat bridge
My hubby is a carpenter-so the tea house, bridges & pergola will happen this summer
I am so excited to be here and can't wait to learn & learn & learn
Here is a peek of last weekends project-this will never end
Sounds like you have a great journey ahead of you. Enjoy and you are lucky to have a Carpenter in the family. Don't worry about Zone 5 we can grow tons of stuff. I made some micro climates with boulder and berms for protection and I even have black mondo grass that is only hardy to zone 6. Think outside the box and have a great time.
Welcome to the forum! There are positives and negatives to all zones, but I think more positives for the cooler ones. Have fun learning!