The Smiley Zen Garden will use the classic design of Harvey Ball.

Harvey Ball

In 1963 Harvey was hired as a freelance artist  by the State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts (known as Hanover Insurance today) to design a button to improve employee morale at the Guarantee Mutual Company of Ohio, a company they recently acquired. It took him only about 10 minutes to design the original Smiley. Harvey was paid $45 for his work and he never copyrighted the design. Smiley was extremely popular, and in a few short years it became an international icon. It now ranks as one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.


Belgian Block

The Smiley Zen Garden will be 50 feet in diameter. The circle will be built using black Belgian blocks. Each block is about 4 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 11 inches long. The circumference of the circle is about 157 feet. The blocks will be laid lengthwise side by side with 3 inches of the 8 inch depth dug into the ground, such that it will create a 5 inch high circular border. Within the circle will be gravel; outside of the circle will be grass.

The perimeter of the eyes and mouth will also use these Belgian blocks to create a border that also functions as a 5 inch wall. Black gravel will be used to fill in the eyes and mouth.

Black Gravel

The face will be filled in with 3/8 inch Jersey Gold pebbles. They are smooth and a yellowish color. The quarter at the bottom left corner of the picture gives a

feel for the size of the pebbles. These pebbles will cover about 1,800 square feet at an average depth of about 4 inches.

Jersey Gold Pebbles

3/8 inch stones are recommended by most experts who build Zen gardens. This seems like the ideal size whereby the stones may be raked, but still hold their shape and place in the face of wind and rain.

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