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Osmosis Garden fuses traditional Japanese structure, casual California lifestyle

San Francisco Chronicle

I am lying on a bed of chamomile, deeply inhaling its gentle fragrance as I listen to a waterfall flowing behind me. I don’t want to leave here but am too energized to stay, so I rise and follow a stone path around a heart-shaped koi pond and across the small waterfall.

There, I take one last look at the guardian stones — boulders, practically — and wish them well.

“Every Japanese temple garden has these three stones, kind of a trinity of spirits to watch over the well-being of the garden,” Osmosis founder Michael Stusser had told me during a tour of his haven that morning. “They’re usually quite small and subtle. It’s a break with tradition to have guardian stones so large.”