Last week Mark spent a morning reducing the water level in the pond and pulling out containers of water lilies in preparation to repot them — something that we haven't done for a few years. At midday I suggested we go to Saigon Noodles for big bowls of Pho so Mark could warm up after his morning climbing in and out of the pond. After lunch he suggested we stop at Odana Antique Mall since we had to drive right by it on our way home.
And look what we found! In one of the endless nooks and crannies we stumbled across this contemporary Chinese cement lantern. We snapped phone photos of it and took its measurements. Then we went home to decide if it would work in our garden.
We made our decision using a technique that we've employed many times over the years. We made a model to size so we could see how it would look in place. Mark used the phone photo of the lantern to make a drawing of it on a piece of cardboard. He quickly sketched in the design details, cut it out and stapled it to a stake so we could stick it directly in the ground.
Sometimes we walk around the garden sticking our cardboard model here and there until we find the perfect location. This time we liked the first spot we tried the cardboard lantern and so put the real thing quickly in its place. We wanted it visible from indoors and near the pond which is the traditional location for a lantern of this style.
This is a loose representation of a Yukimi or snow-viewing lantern. The roof on this kind of lantern is much broader than in other styles of Japanese lanterns. The term 'snow-viewing' refers to its resemblance to a bamboo hat with an accumulation of snow on the top. Though it's made of concrete, it is much darker and more subdued in tone than new lanterns. If we are lucky, lichens and moss will colonize it. Now I just need to clean up the dead garden debris that is detracting from the scene for it to be perfect.