Friday, June 1, 2012

Foo Dogs

A large, flowing sea of hakonechloa 'all gold' grass surrounds one of a pair of Chinese Foo Dogs that sit guard at the base of a teak moongate, separating our Japanese tree and sunken gardens. The carved granite Foo Dogs were a spectacularly awesome surprise gift from Dan several years ago. The threatening appearance of their faces give the idea that they guard against evil spirits, and in Chinese culture these statues are often placed to guard imperial palaces, tombs, and Buddhist temples, etc. The correct name of these Chinese statues, which actually have the appearance of lions, is Shishi—or imperial guardian stone lions, but the name has been Westernized somehow to just Foo Dogs. Lost in translation much? The Foo Dogs are often displayed in a male female pair—the male plays with a ball that symbolizes the Earth, while the female holds a cub—awwww. Back to the spectacular  hakonechloa grass—it took about 5 years for this grass to spread from a 1 gallon pot to this size mass of golden spears, which reminds me of a feather boa that Zsa Zsa Gabor might have worn!

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