Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead

Walk through the gleaming brass doors, held open by a genuinely friendly staff member, and the first thing that will catch your eye is the three story waterfall designed by Takeo Uesugi of TUA Inc. I perused the landscape architect’s site before coming here to Atlanta. You may see more of Mr. Uesugi’s work at especially in the portfolio section of the site. A little more detail on Mr. Uesugi’s life and work is available in a Wikipedia article:

We first became acquainted at the International Conference on Japanese Gardens Outside of Japan held in Long Beach, California, in March 2009. I have seen Mr. Uesugi’s work in Long Beach, San Diego, Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Malibu, but this was my first visit to one of his garden designs outside of California. This garden opened with the hotel in 1990 when it was the Hotel Nikko. Hyatt purchased the property in 1997 and put $5.6 million in to renovations in 2000.

The waterfall at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta is visible from the lobby, the Onyx Bar, the Cassis restaurant on a level lower than the lobby, from windows in a hallway connecting the elevators on the third floor to the pool area, from the pool area and a veranda outside the elevator area on the third floor and from several rooms facing that side of the hotel. It drops from a flat area that includes a small garden with several typical features: trimmed shrubs, tsukubai, bamboo thicket, machiai, dry  stream bed, and well arranged stone work.

The waterfall cascades from the third floor pool level, divides in two and lands in a pool with a rock beach on a small island with a maple and a lantern set in the pond. The pond is surrounded by plantings of pine, azalea and bamboo.

View from the third floor veranda at the top of the falls, looking toward the table from which the previous image was taken.

The view immediately to the right of the previous image: The third floor veranda leads to one entry to the small garden. The other entry is from the pool side refreshment area.

Update 2016: It is with deep sadness that we report Takeo Uesugi died 26 January 2016 at his home in California following a battle with cancer. He was 75 years of age. A link to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times listing his many achievements follows. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and coworkers.

Categories: Atlanta, Georgia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a private garden tucked away in the woods

Atlanta is a beautiful city featuring a green canopy of established trees in many areas. Some residents have chosen to augment their woods. The owner of this property designed this garden, moving many established maple trees from his previous property some 15 years ago.


This magnificent lantern is quite tall, setting the scene in the entry garden.



A small bridge crosses a stream between the driveway and the main entrance to the home. Perfectly clipped bushes and a collection of maples highlighted the soothing atmosphere of this front yard.



Near the front door, a rustic wooden bench provides a resting spot to enjoy all the details of this area by the front door.


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at last! a computer connection and Lush Life Home and Garden photos are available

Japanese Sunrise is one of many maples offered by the garden division of Lush Life on Andrews Avenue in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.

We learned the other day in Atlanta that our iPad would not support upload of photos to this blog. Aaack! And the Dell PC suddenly decided it could receive e-mail but not send any replies. Double Aaack! So here we are in Fayette Alabama outside Birmingham with some things working again. Must be the company of long-time good friends.

Here are a few photos of our visit to Lush Life Home and Garden at 146 Andrews in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, not too far from where we stayed at the Grand Hyatt in order to see Takeo Uesugi’s garden there.

The boutique offers “sophisticated and stylish decor for inside and outside the home” and a fabulous selection of plants perfect for Japanese gardens including many unusual maples.

Check out their web site at:

Lush Life entry

In the Buckhead area of Atlanta, we visited a garden and floral shop, Lush Life. The abundant nursery compliments the delightfully appointed showroom. The owner’s personal garden was part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s tour over the Mother’s Day weekend. Bill Hudgins was traveling in London for the Chelsea Flower Show. His personnel were most helpful.

There was something to see and admire at every turn through the well appointed shop, Lush Life on Andrews in Atlanta’s Buckhead area.

The terraced back yard behind the shop offers a variety of indoor and outdoor plants, jardiniere, garden ornaments and trellises.

parking and demonstration plantings in front of Lush Life in Atlanta — store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Categories: Atlanta, Georgia | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

On the road

Walking through the San Francisco airport, we noticed emblems from several Sister Cities projected on the walkway. This lotus is from Bangalore.

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More photos from Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii

Dennis Makishima demonstration

Dennis Makishima demonstrated pine tree pruning at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo to County workers and Master Gardeners April 2011.


Still learning how to format and layout text and photos. Here are a couple of photos from Dennis Makishima’s visit to the Big Island in April 2011.

Photos not otherwise credited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any image to see it full size.

Dennis Makishima demonstration

County workers and Master Gardeners listen to Dennis Makishima before beginning several projects. photo by Bill Eger


A recent sunny day in Hilo at the zig-zag path leading to the red bridge…
photo by Bill F. Eger 2012

UPDATE: This 2012 view by Bill F. Eger was the basis for graphic art used for the 2017 Priority Mail stamp. This was the first U.S. stamp to feature a Japanese garden. It was Hilo’s first time on a stamp.

Short N Sweet Bakery and Cafe on Kino`ole Street in Hilo created the tasty cake made to look like a first day of issue envelope [photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger]

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Home in Hilo – Lili`uokalani Gardens

Before we get on the plane — less than 24 hours from now — I’m getting in a little practice with this new skill. Plus I wanted to let friends know about the public Japanese garden in Hilo.

Lili`uokalani Gardens

The Isemoto Bridge and one of several stone lanterns donated by prefectures in Japan.
Photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger

This County park is more than 20 acres, including ocean-fed ponds, on the Banyan Drive peninsula overlooking Hilo Bay on the windward side of Hawaii Island. An incorrect 30 acre figure appears in many stories. Even when nearby park lands added to the County’s care by various Governor’s executive orders are totaled with Lili`uokalani Gardens [such as Mokuola (Coconut Island), Rakuen (Happiness Park) and Isles] the total comes to 24.6+ acres.

Mainly a stroll garden with a tea house, and several different kinds of paths, Lili`uokalani Gardens are free and open to the public all year long.

Land was set aside in the spring of 1917 and initial construction began in November 1917. The gardens were inundated by tsunami in 1918 and 1923. Great damage was done by the April 1, 1946 tidal wave and the gardens were rebuilt in 1949. They were destroyed again by the May 23, 1960 tsunami and rebuilt. In 1968, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gannen-mono (first Japanese immigrants to arrive as sugar plantation laborers), 13 stone lanterns and two stone lion gates were donated by the governors of prefectures in Japan from which the immigrants came, adding to lanterns from the original garden that survived the major tsunamis.

In 1972 Urasenke Tea Ceremony Foundation of Kyoto donated a Japanese tea ceremony house, which was placed toward the center. It was destroyed by arson in 1994. A new tea house was built in 1997.

Landscape architect David Tamura notes “Shoroan, the teahouse in Lili`uokalaki Gardens was built in 1997, a gift from Dr. Soshitsu Zen, the 15th Grand Tea Master. The original teahouse, built in 1972, burned down in 1994. The original teahouse was located on the Lili`uokalani Gardens grounds on the Nihon Restaurant side of the park. The gardens of the first teahouse were designed and installed by Mr. Kazuo Nakamura, a notable Japanese Garden Landscape Architect and Landscape Contractor from Japan. Mr. Nakamura’s family has a long history of creating gardens in Kyoto, Japan. Mr. Nakamura came to the United States after World War II and settled in California, Honolulu and finally Hilo, creating gardens wherever he lived. Rock work was a specialty of Mr. Nakamura for which he is well remembered. He passed away in January 1986.”

One of Nakamura’s California gardens presently is threatened with sale by UCLA Regents. A California court issued an injunction delaying the sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air.

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air bears the name of the donor of the garden to UCLA. This view is through the main gate, across the first flat stone bridge and up the walkway.

“The only salvageable items of the original  teahouse in Lili`uokalani Gardens were the rocks, walkways, a few plants and a pine tree,” Tamura said. “Many of these rock items were brought over from Japan to create the first teahouse garden. It was decided that the original rocks, walkways and water basin had to be relocated to the new teahouse site. The challenge was how to incorporate these elements in a garden setting that was quite different from the first. Mr. Fred Nonaka from Waimea on the Big Island volunteered for the new landscaping of Shoroan. With much experience in rock setting and landscaping, Mr. Nonaka was the right person to create the new garden using Mr. Nakamura’s concepts, spirit and ideals.”

Kazuo Nakamura  also designed and constructed the Bicentennial rock garden at Lili`uokalani Gardens and the nearby Rakuen (Happiness Gardens) behind the Suisan Fish Market.

Lili`uokalani Gardens’ massive 1999-2000 renovation project with ADA accessible perimeter walkway was designed by Hilo landscape architect Leonard Bisel and construction by Isemoto Contracting Company Ltd. Four Torii gates were erected at the cardinal compass points.

In 2011, Dennis Makishima stopped in Hilo to offer an aesthetic pruning workshop to County park maintenance personnel and UH Master Gardeners. A morning classroom lecture was followed by hands-on practice in the park.

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


A grand railroad odyssey will begin next week in Atlanta. My husband Bill and I will be posting photos and stories from nearly 30 Japanese gardens across the nation. Please join us on our epic journey.


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