"We do need a focal point," Maymont volunteer Barbara Kling says, referring to how the teahouse would enhance the garden. Kling is chairwoman for the Japanese Garden Moon Viewing Celebration Sept. 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The structure Liesfeld is creating is a variation of an authentic Japanese teahouse, Kling says, because traditional teahouses are extremely formal and austere. By comparison, Liesfeld's design will be inviting and open. It's called an azumaya, which is Japanese for "a place to rest," Kling says.
Liesfeld is owner of the design firm Zo En Garden Creation. Her philosophy of life comes from nature namely, that it can't be rushed.
Building a teahouse for Maymont is a process she felt compelled to lead, she says, to help preserve and enhance the Japanese garden's authenticity. "It's very different from an Italian or French garden that has a very pruned look and remains the same," she says. "In the Japanese garden, you see the difference over the years as the plants grow and spread. The garden grows and you grow hopefully wisely."
Adding the teahouse, Kling says, is a coup. The structure valued at $78,000 will be erected over the pond, with two poles embedded in rock to support it. Brandon Walters
Tickets to the Sept. 16 tsukimi, or moon-viewing event, are $75 per person. For information, call 358-7166, ext. 363.
Letters to the editor may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org