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Try each style to figure out what you like.

I design based on critters or their forms most often.
Try each rock texture, color, character, if you don't care for the artsy justication(I never have) just adjust things till it feels right to you.

Sit on your butt and stare at it for a long time. I work with one of the top people from Japan on this stuff. He does the rock scapes for Japanese gardens in CA. He gets all angry(I do this also oddly) and spends a great deal of time thinking about it. I see him sitting out there, I leave, he's still sitting there, perhaps he moved the rock some. I did the same thing when I did mixing of wood and rock. Later, I'm still not happy with it entirely.

It's some past experience as well, you do get better, but to me it's a feeling you are trying to invoke at the core.

If after things have grown in, you dislike it, tear out and start over.
The more you do, the better you will get.

I've yet to have done a scape I really like.
But there is the future.

Amano has done more scapes than all of us combined. Practice.
Tear it down, start over. Try new plants as they come down the pipe, don't give up on old favorites.

Most folks do not have the same access Amano does to choice plants, but several LFS have a great selection these days here in the USA.
Also, many folks need to seek out wood, rock that has the characters they seek.

But do not limit yourself to rock and wood either.........hint hint.........

Tom Barr
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