Ventura California Master Gardeners join the fun at Lili`uokalani Gardens

The fifth monthly volunteer work day will be held at Lili`uokalani Gardens tomorrow (Saturday, September 27) from 8 a.m. to noon.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens and East Hawai`i Master Gardeners will be joined by 21 Master Gardeners from Ventura, California, here touring agriculture related sites on Hawai`i Island and desirous of providing some community service.

Ten members of the Fukushima Kenjin-kai also are slated to participate in the four-hour clean up at Hilo’s historic Japanese garden.

For more information, contact Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens president Bill Eger, 969-1234.

photo by Bill Eger

photo by Bill Eger

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more news about NAJGA in Chicago in October

This link posted above is to a North American Japanese Garden Association newsletter, which has more news about the up and coming international conference in Chicago in mid-October.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a wonderful host. Specialized workshops and tours will be held pre- and post-convention in the Chicago and Rockford area.

For more information, contact the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) at, tel (503) 222 1194. On-site and one-day registrations are also available.

north end of Osaka Garden

The Palace of Fine Arts for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition is now the Museum of Science and Industry. This view is from Garden of the Phoenix, the site of a 2014 pre-convention workshop on moss.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

bridge with seasonal floral display

Chicago Botanic Garden: the entry bridge between the Visitor Center and the Crescent Garden in fall

a cool woodland

a cool woodland with azalea hillside (photo by Bill F. Eger)

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NAJGA Conference in Chicago in October

This video previews one of Dr. David Slawson’s talking points for his forthcoming skills development workshop happening as part of the 2014 NAJGA biennial conference at the Chicago Botanic Garden this October 16-18:

Go to the NAJGA web site for more information on the conference, speakers, workshops, hands-on training sessions, and tours.
NAJGA Conference 2014

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Follow-up to cleanup and advance on Festival

The fourth volunteer day at Lili`uokalani Gardens held Saturday, August 16, concentrated on storm cleanup following Hurricane Iselle. Many of our regulars were busy with their own homes or were volunteering in Puna, the district of Hawai`i island hit hardest by the storm.

But we had nine eager folks who filled 20 large bags with downed leaves and sticks in no time. We also worked on removing one large snapped limb from an orchid tree near the restrooms. Some of it still remained in the tree at the end of our time — beyond our reach.

pau hana 1

Michelle, Hiroko, Sami, K.T., Jennifer and Craig (not pictured: Diane, Ann, Bill)
photo by Bill Eger


pau hana 2

Michelle, Hiroko, Sami, K.T., Jennifer and Craig are a little goofy at the end of the work day.

Additional effort went into continuing to edge the spring-fed pond and removal of seaweed from the pond near the stone arched bridge.

This helped County workers get the park ready for both the Firefighters annual walk and run held Saturday, August 23, and the upcoming Queen’s birthday.

Weeding and leaf removal was done on two areas central to the annual Queen Lili`uokalani Festival — He Halia Aloha — which is scheduled for Saturday, September 6, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

2014 poster

He Hali`a Aloha No Lili`uokalani Festival — an annual celebration in honor of the Queen’s birthday — will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sponsored by the County of Hawai`i, the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center and the Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council, the all day free event will feature cultural activities and demonstrations, craft booths, mass hula surrounding the ponds, taiko drumming, Urasenke tea ceremonies, and plenty of local entertainment.

For more information on the festival, contact the Hawai`i County Culture and Education Office at 961-8706.


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Hurricane Iselle and Lili`uokalani Gardens

high water in ponds

Storm surge from August 7 & 8 Hurricane Iselle combined with high tide resulting in very high water levels in the ponds of Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo.
photo by Philippe Francois Nault


Thank you all the far flung friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens. Yes, Hurricane Iselle came to the gardens, but lightly compared to the more eastern and southerly regions of the island.

No major trees went down. No big limbs fell.

Storm surge did combine with high tides, resulting in extremely high water in the ponds. The concrete zig-zag walkway to the red bridge was completely covered.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens planned last month to hold our regular monthly clean up day on Saturday, August 16. That is still on. There is storm tossed debris to rake up, weeds to be pulled, bushes to be trimmed, seaweed to be mucked out, and gravel to spread on a path by the tea house.

If you can help, please come from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, August 16.


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Third work day helps prepare for two events

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens gathered with members of Moku `Aina, the East Hawaii Master Gardeners Association, and Moku Loa Sierra Club for gardening chores to prepare Shoroan, the Urasenke tea house, for a visit of the retired Grand Master Dr. Genshitso Sen and to clean around the stone lantern from Fukushima for the annual tanabata festival.

leaf rakers

Six large trash bags were filled with ironwood needles removed from the lawn and lava around the lantern from Fukushima prefecture

Tanabata or the Star Festival is a time of wishing for good things and peace, according to Walter Tachibana of Fukushima-Ken. Strings of colorful paper cranes are hung on bamboo branches placed beside the ishi-doro (stone lantern) from Fukushima. Traditionally the festival is held on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.

By the end of this recent work session, 17 trash bags were filled with green waste and trash from four different project areas.

The area to which the most attention was paid during the past three months was the Urasenke tea house, Shoroan. A total of 28 volunteers worked 112 hours in the tea house garden to help prepare for the visit of Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired XV Grand Master of Urasenke, on July 22.

Shoroan July 2014

Before the third work day, a few wild hairs on the bushes indicate the need for a light trimming
photo by Bill Eger

day three

By the end of the work day, all the bushes were trimmed and all the weeds on the paths were pulled


Dr. Genshitsu Sen, retired XV Grand Master of Urasenke, enjoys a bowl of tea with Russ Oda, Rev. Jeffrey Soga, Art Taniguchi and Hiroshi Suga in Shoroan

Dr. Sen congratulates Philippe Nault on four otemae (the artful performance of tea ceremony) outdoors in Lili`uokalani Gardens

Dr. Sen congratulates Kumiko Sugawara and Philippe Nault on four otemae (the artful performance of tea ceremony) outdoors in Lili`uokalani Gardens

The next volunteer day is scheduled for Saturday, August 16, from 8 a.m. to noon. The focus of the next chore list will be preparing for the annual Queen Lili`uokalani Festival held in early September.

To volunteer, please contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at 895-8130.

Volunteers gather to discuss the day's projects at 8 a.m. photo by Bill Eger

Volunteers gather to discuss the day’s projects at 8 a.m.
photo by Bill Eger

Additional projects worked on so far include pruning of small trees; fertilizing azalea and camellia throughout the park; beginning removal of weeds from the edges of the ponds; replacement of a dislodged stone in the stepping stone path that goes through the water; repainting of parking lot lines; removal of invasive pest species from the roofs of several shelters and from the arched stone bridge. In all, including the tea house projects, 54 volunteers put in a total of 216 hours in the first three work days at Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Donations of nearly $550 in plants, materials and tools were received from Home Mart-Keaau Ace Hardware, Mountain Meadows Nursery, Rozett’s Nursery, and members of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens. The tools were added to the County park’s tool shed for use in Lili`uokalani Gardens.

pond wide view

The cultural landscape of Lili`uokalani Gardens is nearly 100 years old. Plans are in the works for centennial celebrations in 2017
photo by Bill Eger

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Tours and Film Share History of World War II Detention Site at Kīlauea Military Camp

Many people do not know the history of internment in Hawai`i during World War II. Opportunities are offered Tuesday, July 29,  at Volcanoes National Park.

Please check out the details at the following Pacific Island National Parks web site.

Tours and Film Share History of World War II Detention Site at Kīlauea Military Camp.

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Niwaki with Jake Hobson

Here is a short (seven minutes) video from Jake Hobson, whose book Niwaki is also the name of his business in the United Kingdom.

This is a great thing to watch for those interested in learning a little more about pruning on garden trees.

Jake Hobson offers workshops on pruning. The next one is Tuesday, September 16. For more information, go to his web site and look in the Events category:

Another publication by Hobson is The Art of Creative Pruning: Inventive Ideas for Training and Shaping Trees and Shrubs.

Hobson--Creative Pruning

The cover photo from Jake Hobson’s book Creative Pruning, published in 2011 by Timber Press, is by GAP Photos/Fiona McLeod

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NAJGA conference set for Chicago

The second biennial conference of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) will be held October 16-18, 2014, at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The theme of this year’s conference is “New Pathways: The Role of the Japanese Garden for Society and Self.”

Hoichi Kurisu

Hoichi Kurisu will be the keynote speaker at the second biennial conference of the North American Japanese Garden Association. He will also offer workshops during the three-day conference.

Keynote speaker is Hoichi Kurisu who studied landscape design and construction under Kenzo Ogata in Tokyo, Japan. Kurisu was appointed Landscape Director for the Garden Society of Japan (Nihon Teien Kyokai 1968–1972), during which time he supervised construction of the Portland Japanese Garden.

In 1972 he founded Kurisu International, Inc., which has since designed and built a number of gardens including the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, Roji-en Japanese Garden at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, the Japanese garden at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Iowa, and the a Japanese garden for Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, in Lebanon, Oregon, which was the winner of a 2006 Healthcare Environment Award for Landscape Design.

The Morikami Museum

The Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, is visible from Yamato across a large pond. Roji-en, a collection of Japanese gardens by Hoichi Kurisu is across the bridge and to the left

Kurisu firmly believes that encounters with nature are essential to mental, physical, and spiritual equilibrium. Each of his designs addresses a unique social purpose and reinforces the quality of humanity. By harmonizing light and shade, water and rock, and space with the senses, the Japanese gardens of Hoichi Kurisu restore peace of mind, physical health, and strong and compassionate communities.

His firm presently is at work constructing a new nine-acre Japanese garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Frederik Meijer Sculpture Garden. The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden is scheduled to open in June 2015.

An extensive list of workshops covers the basic tracks of horticulture, business culture and human culture with topics such as: Keeping koi healthy, Updating traditional light in the Japanese garden, the new civic garden movement in Japan, Planning for long-term maintenance and renewal, Art of the thatched roof for Japanese garden structures, Art of bamboo, Significance of sukiya style in the Japanese garden, Frank Lloyd Wright and the influence of Japan, Archaeology of the Japanese gardens at Manzanar, Tea in the garden, The Adachi Museum’s operational philosophy, and Using technology to enhance the visitor experience, among other offerings.

The conference also offers pre- and post- conference extended sessions and tours.

The deadline for early registration is July 1. For more information and to register, please refer to the NAJGA web site events page:

NAJGA logo

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Second volunteer day completes planting tasks

The second volunteer day at Lili`uokalani Gardens was held Friday, June 13, with participation from Moku `Aina, East Hawaii Master Gardeners, and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens.

The next work day is scheduled for Friday, July 11. Please contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at (808) 895-8130 if you would like to assist next time.

Thanks to a donation of dwarf mondo grass from Mountain Meadows landscape nursery, a bare patch near the entry path to Shoroan, the tea house, was completed. East Hawaii Master Gardeners Daniel Heitman and Diane Fournier finished the weeding and installed the new plants.

mondo grass

Master Gardeners Daniel Heitman and Diane Fournier install new dwarf mondo grass to a bare spot near the tea house entry
(photo by Bill Eger)

Kenji Kuroshima and Keiji Ichikawa from Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens tackled removal of small banyan trees and roots from the roof of the tea house. They are visible in the mondo grass photo in the background and in the following photo.

tea house roof

banyan roots were causing damage to the shingles on the porch roof of the tea house (photo by Bill Eger)

banyan roots

Kenji, K.T. Keiji and Yoshi celebrate the removal of several banyan roots from the tea house roof (photo by Bill Eger)

Thanks to Ace Hardware (Home Mart) in Kea`au for the donation of gloves, rakes, and trash bags.

bamboo leaves

Members of Moku `Aina Stacey, Kawika and Bernie rake bamboo leaves off a path. Shortly after they left this area, a wedding party showed up and chose this spot for photographs (photo by Bill Eger)

mock orange hedge

Master Gardeners and members of Moku `Aina, Urasenke Tea Society of Hilo, and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens removed old dead stumps and replanted new mock orange bushes
(photo by Bill Eger)

pine tree shaping

Yoshi Ota prunes a memorial pine planted in 2010 for Jiichi Kogure, Mayor of Shibukawa City
(photo by Bill Eger)

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