Murin-an’s garden path has many little pebbles laid over it to allow our visitors to walk through the garden. The crushed gravel, known as biri (or “rip”) stone in Japanese, is said to derive its name from the tearing sound it makes when walked upon.
Because more foot traffic leads to the biri stones straying outside the garden path, we use hand whisks to sweep them back toward the center. Carefully sweeping both sides of the garden path, we pave the ground by using the tips of the bamboo whisk to stroke areas where little pebble hills have developed.
We remove pebbles on both sides of the path to keep them as much as possible from moving off the path and to create a passage for rainwater when it rains. If pebbles get into the gaps in the moss, the moss will gradually stop growing.
So maintaining the garden path by attentively sweeping the biri stones is an important task for garden management. Biri stones can easily end up clumping together on sloped sections of the garden path, so we also collect and remove any stones that have accumulated.
When you walk on Murin-an’s garden path, try walking along slowly and affectionately as you enjoy the sounds of your feet walking on the gravel.