Author Archives: usjapanesegardens

About usjapanesegardens

Enthusiastic supporter of Japanese gardens; founding member of the North American Japanese Garden Association; member of the board of directors of Japanese Gardening dot org ; loves travel and photography

Fabulous Florals, part 3: A Moon Gate at the Edge of the Pond

a completed moon gate awaits couples who wanted to renew their marriage vows (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger appears as a thumbnail in the 2020 photo calendar of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens)

This is the third in a series on the floral design event in September that marked the conclusion of a state-wide series of workshops geared to wedding arrangements.

detail of a flyer and ad prepared for the state-wide floral design series of workshops (graphic design by Colin Gilliam)

Sponsored by the Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, the Hilo workshop moved from Nani Mau Gardens into Lili`uokalani Gardens on Sunday morning, September 8. By noon there were three major locations for couples to use in renewing their marriage vows.

Alison Higgins of Grace Flowers Hawaii in Honoka`a (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Locations were scouted months in advance. This spot was chosen by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD of Vancouver BC Canada and Alison Higgins of Grace Flowers Hawaii in Honoka`a. Higgins provided the structure and her team worked on installing the design.

barrels full of flowers and foliage were needed to fill this design (photo by Rita French)

the design filled the structure front and back, top to bottom (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Tony and Judy Graaf were participants in the floral design workshop and the first couple to register for wedding vow renewal with Rev. Katlin McCallister of Church of the Holy Apostles in Hilo (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Brenna Quan, Judy Graaf, Hitomi Gilliam, Tony Graff, and Alison Higgins by the moon gate (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Cathey and Roger Kizey celebrate 50 years of marriage by heading across the Isemoto Bridge toward the moon gate where they renewed their vows with Rev. Katlin McCallister (photo by Rita French)

Cathey and Roger Kizey (photo by Rita French)

People passing by also made use of the floral structures.

The previous blog entries covered the white pillars set up near the arched stone bridge and a floral chandelier in the bamboo patch. The next blog entry will cover the background effort necessary to bring all of this beauty to the gardens.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens provided the registration tent, site, security, ministers, and photographers. Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association provided the floral designs, mechanics and product plus talent. The workshop participants also provided bouquets, head pieces, and lei to the ministers and couples.

At the end of the day, the structures were taken down and all the flowers were given away.

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fabulous Florals, Part 2: Chandelier in the Bamboo Patch

HFNA sponsored Wedding Celebrations June through September 2019 throughout the state with sponsorship from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Hawaii County Department of Research & Development
(flyer design by Colin Gilliam)

Floral design workshops held at Nani Mau Gardens in Panaewa moved into Lili`uokalani Gardens on Sunday morning, September 8. When the floral design teams were done at noon, three decorated sites were utilized for wedding vow renewal ceremonies.

Galyn Williams, Brenna Quan, and Alison Higgins plot a plan for a floral chandelier in the bamboo patch (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)


Brenna Quan deeply involved in the creation (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Phoebe Anderson with Galyn Williams and Brenna Quan (photo by Rita French)

Phoebe Anderson (photo by Rita French)

Brenna Quan of Victoria BC (see the legs!) is almost done with the bamboo chandelier (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

finished bamboo chandelier detail (photo by Sarah Anderson)

The first couple gets their first look at the chandelier (photo by Rita French)

Yuka and Dennis Blinn renew their vows with Rev. Satoshi Tomioka of Puna Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (photo by Sarah Anderson)

Yuka and Dennis Blinn with Rev. Satoshi Tomioka (photo by Sarah Anderson)

LaRonde and Adrian DeMello II renew their vows with Rev. Katlin McCallister of Church of the Holy Apostles (photo by Rita French)

LaRonde and Adrian DeMello II with Rev. Katlin McCallister (photo by Sarah Anderson)

LaRonde and Adrian DeMello II (photo by Sarah Anderson)

The previous blog entry covered the white pillars set up near the arched stone bridge. The next blog entry will cover the moon gate set up in view of the red bridge.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens provided the registration tent, site, ministers, and photographers. Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association provided the floral designs, mechanics and product plus talent. The workshop participants also provided bouquets, head pieces, and lei to the ministers and couples.

At the end of the day, the structures were taken down and all the flowers were given away.

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

2020 Photography Contest Calendar Released

The grand prize — a helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters — for this year’s cover shot goes to Kris Hawkins.

The fourth annual photographers contest to create a Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens 13-month calendar for 2020 received digital entries from professional and hobbyist photographers.

Judging was Charles Wood, a semi-retired landscape, nature, and travel photographer.

Wood remarked, “For a photographer, joy is simply being there, even if the light doesn’t work to his or her advantage. Those who develop a passion for photography will tell of their joy in the actual capture of an image they have pre-visualized.”

Chairman Vijay Karai said, “Thirteen images from eight photographers will appear as featured images for each month. In addition, 26 thumbnail size images, two images to each calendar page, will round out the total view of the gardens.”

The back cover features small views of each month, contact information for Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, the logo for Paradise Helicopters, sponsor of the grand prize, and the bar code used by KTA SuperStores

Taking Grand Prize is Kris Hawkins of Opihikao. His “Bridge at Sunrise” was chosen by the judge as the cover image and the featured photograph for the month of August. Charles Wood also selected three additional images by Hawkins for the featured images for the months of January, May, and July. In addition thumbnail images by Hawkins will appear in March and July. Grand prize is a doors-off helicopter ride with professionals Bruce Omori and Mick Kalber courtesy of Paradise Helicopters.

“I picked up photography in high school, back in the days of film. Just recently, I got back into it while backpacking and camping,” Hawkins said. “I love Lili`uokalani Gardens. It is such a surprise to have so many images accepted.”

Photographers whose work will be featured in the calendar and the months include: Jay Takaaze (February and April), Alan Kubota (November and December), Rita French (June), Kenneth Jackson (March), Faith Cloud (September), Lisa Schwenneker (October), and Lucy Fischer (January 2021). Takaaze was the cover winner for 2019 and Jackson for 2017. Fischer is a fifth grader who entered for the first time. Her thumbnail images appear in March, June, and July.

“Early Morning Stroll” by Jay Takaaze was selected as the image for April

Additional thumbnail images, two to a calendar grid page, are from photographers Faith Cloud (September), Diane Koerner (October), Darrin Carlson (August), K.T. Cannon-Eger (October and January 2021), Alan Kubota (May and June), Eh Cuz (December), Kenneth Jackson (January 2020), Lisa Schwenneker (January 2020, April, and November), Lee Schechtman (April, May, September, and November), and Eileen Tredway (February and December).

Graphic design by Ken Goodrich of Volcano, a well-known photographer and videographer, also brings a wealth of east Hawaii events to calendar production. Dates for every known activity from Merrie Monarch Festival to the KWXX Ho`olaulea are included.

In this sample of a month’s grid, Hilo and state-wide events are listed along with two thumbnail images selected by judge Charles Wood

Printing by Hawaii Printing Corporation keeps all the work on Hawaii Island. Copies of the fund raising calendar may be purchased from KTA SuperStores at Puainako and Downtown in Hilo, Banyan Gallery on Banyan Drive near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, or Basically Books.  Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens will have copies available at the annual Na Makua Christmas Gift Fair at the Afook-Chinen Civic Center Friday and Saturday December 6 and 7.

The first of two pages of historic photos encourages the public to look through family scrapbooks

Also included in the 2020 calendar are two pages of historical photos with an invitation to the public to review their family scrapbooks and share images from Lili`uokalani Gardens.

A photographer’s exhibit will be part of the fourth annual Banyan Drive Art Stroll on Saturday, January 11, 2020.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens may be contacted through the organization’s Facebook page or by writing to P. O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96720.

To view any image in a larger size, just click on the image. Please respect the copyrighted images.

Thoughtful and curious comments are welcome. Spamers and scammers need not bother. All comments are reviewed before posting.

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

Fantastic Floral Designs Provide Backdrop for Marriage Vow Renewals

HFNA sponsored Wedding Celebrations 2019 throughout the state with sponsorship from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Hawaii County Department of Research & Development

For the third year, a floral design workshop with Hitomi Gilliam AIFD moved into Lili`uokalani Gardens to provide large examples of how to use locally grown flowers and foliage in contemporary arrangements.

This year, the emphasis was on weddings. The Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association organized workshops statewide with sessions on Kaua`i, `Oahu, and Maui before culminating in Hilo.

An ad in Ke Ola Magazine announced both the 20th annual He Hali`a Aloha No Lili`uokalani (Queen’s birthday festival) and the floral design event in early September

Sunday morning designers Hitomi Gilliam and Alison Higgins of Grace Flowers Hawaii moved into Lili`uokalani Gardens with truckloads of equipment and flowers. Three large arrangements were created by noon. This blog entry details the white pillars near the arched stone bridge.

Galyn Williams helps deliver flowers and materials to the white pillar design area (photo by Sarah Anderson)

K.T. Cannon-Eger carries podocarpus to the white pillar area (photo by Sarah Anderson)

The pillars started with bamboo poles held in place with forming stakes and wire. Oasis and chicken wire cages were strapped to the poles and filled with podocarpus foliage.

a team of florists begin work on the white pillars (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)


Lois Hiranaga AIFD of Maui and Hitomi Gilliam AIFD of Vancouver BC begin attaching wire supports to the bamboo (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

detail of the finished floral design

detail of the finished floral design

detail of the finished pillars

by noon, the white pillars were ready for use in marriage vow renewal ceremonies (photo by Sarah Anderson)

ready for celebrating 100 years of weddings in the gardens — here’s to 100 more (photo by Rita French)

Rev. Satoshi Kaimipono Tomioka of Puna Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (photo by Rita French)

Ashtin and Brian Hart renew their vows with their children and Rev. Tomioka (photo by Rita French)

(photo by Eric Tanouye)

Yolanda and Gilbert Hesia and their family and Kumu Leilehua Yuen (photo by Sarah Anderson)

The next two blog entries will cover the other floral design sites: one in view of the red bridge and one int he bamboo patch.

Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens provided the site, ministers, and photographers. HFNA provided the floral designs, mechanics and product plus talent. The workshop participants also provided bouquets, head pieces, and lei to the ministers and couples.

At the end of the day, the structures were taken down and all the flowers were given away.

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Congratulations to Chicago Botanic Garden

map of the three islands of Sansho-en (Elizabeth Hubert Malott Garden) courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden

The United States Postal Service announced a set of 10 gardens to be issued on stamps in 2020.

Among the selection is the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese garden at Chicago Botanic Garden, the second time a U.S. Japanese garden has appeared on a stamp.

The first U.S. garden on a stamp was Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo on a Priority Mail stamp in 2017, marking the centennial of Hilo’s treasured cultural landscape.


Issued to mark the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens, this also is the first time a Hilo locale appears on a U.S. postage stamp and the first time a Japanese garden appears on a U.S. postage stamp

Other gardens in the new Forever stamp set that also have Japanese gardens within their boundaries are Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens (Ohio), Huntington Botanical Gardens (California), and Brooklyn Botanic Garden (New York).

a viewing platform with cherry tree along the path to the main entry gate at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Categories: Brooklyn, California, Glencoe, Hawaii, Hilo, Illinois, New York | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

October newsletter features September photos

So much happened in Lili`uokalani Gardens that it was a challenge to keep the monthly newsletter to four pages.

Here is a link to a PDF of that newsletter which includes a calendar of coming events on page two.

Newsletter October 2019

In subsequent blog entries, more photos of the 20th annual He Hali`a Aloha No Lili`uokalani will be published as well as more photos of the floral design workshop that provided three sites for wedding vow renewals in the gardens.


Categories: Hawaii, Hilo, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Save the Date 12/3/2019

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving to community and non-profit events and activities in the form of physical support or monetary donations.

This year, special events for young people have been added. Please share this with the young people and organizations you know.

Hello, Fellow Kids!

Announcing the Launch of #GivingTuesdayKids!

With youth shaking up and spearheading many of the major movements on key issues facing our world today, from climate change to healthcare to student debt, GivingTuesday is helping amplify the next generation of young leaders to be organizers, thought-leaders, and campaign managers for a more generous world. We’re so thrilled to announce the official launch of #GivingTuesdayKids

Led by 12-year-old Khloe Thompson and a team of youth ambassadors, #GivingTuesdayKids is all about encouraging young people to take action around the causes they care about most on GivingTuesday. On December 3, 2019, kids all over the world will lead volunteer projects, acts of kindness, and epic givebacks, proving that everyone has the power to make change in their communities and that everyone has something to give.
Join the Movement

Help Spread the Word!

Please share with the young people in your life, your clients, program participants, partner organizations and anyone you think might help us grow this movement!

  • Share our video on your personal and organization’s social media channels
  • Share in any relevant Facebook groups you’re a part of
  • Share with your local school district (there’s a toolkit and curriculum for teachers!)
  • Forward this email to colleagues and friends

Here are some sample tweets, social media posts, and logos and here’s the Participation Guide for Youth and Families.

We simply could not be more thrilled to help launch this movement for young changemakers! As always, we’d love to hear your ideas for how to get the word out and who we should be talking to – email us anytime (just hit reply on this email).

The GivingTuesdayTeam

Copyright © 2019 GivingTuesday, All rights reserved.
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Annual Photography Contest

Call to Photographers_2020

UPDATE: The original entry form was found to contain an error. The deadline is extended to Monday September 30, 2019 not 2018. A corrected entry form link is immediately above this paragraph. Mahalo.

Joy in the Gardens is the theme for the fourth annual Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens photography contest. The link above will provide you with a printable entry form and further details.

Lili`uokalani Gardens is composed of four parks: the original Japanese-style landscape nicknamed Nihon Koen bounded by Banyan Drive and Lihiwai Street, Moku Ola (Coconut Island), Rakuen, and Isles.

Selected Photographs of the Gardens will be featured in the 4th Annual Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens Photo Calendar.

Jelena Clay holds the 2018 calendar at Banyan Gallery

Proceeds from calendar sales will help fund the work of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens to improve and beautify the park. There is no entry fee for this contest. Number of entries is limited to six (6).

Images should be JPEG sized to 2000 pixels on the longest side. Name the image file with the name of your entry and your initials. Example: Title_of_your_work _HL.jpg

April 2019 calendar page featured photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger
The calendar contains dates of Hilo events for 13 months

Photographers whose images are selected for inclusion in the calendar will be asked to provide a full resolution file for printing and a signed release that grants the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens one time use of the image in the 2020 calendar and any current or future use for promotion of calendar.

Photographers retain all rights to their images.

Questions about the contest can be emailed to contest chairman Vijay Karai //

The entries will be selected by professional photographer, Charles Wood.

Charles Wood is a commercial photographer with more than 30 years in the field.

Important dates:

Submission Deadline: 5 p.m. Wednesday September 25, 2018

Notification of Acceptance:  Thursday October 3, 2018

Submission of hi-resolution images by Monday October 7, 2018

Calendar printed by early November, 2019

Fourth Annual Banyan Drive Art Stroll with photographers’ exhibition

Saturday January 11, 2020 noon to 6 p.m.

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

News from Portland OR: Fall Training and Haiku in the Classroom

“Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.”

― Santōka Taneda, Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda


September 12
Deadline for applications for October design intensive

September 16 – 27
Waza to Kokoro Intermediate Level Seminar

October 22 – 24
With an eye towards nature: A Japanese garden design intensive

Garden+ Lecture Series

2019 lectures complete; 2020 lectures to be announced this fall.

Image by Parkrose student in Haiku Alive program
Welcoming Waza to Kokoro Participants
This month we welcome landscape practitioners from across the country and Australia for the intermediate-level Waza to Kokoro: Hands and Heart training seminar in Japanese garden arts.  Watch this space next month for 2020’s seminar dates!Fall Design Intensive: Application Deadline Extended
Application has been extended through Sept. 12 for “With an Eye Towards Nature: A Japanese Garden Design Intensive.” Created for design
professionals and taught by Garden staff including Garden Curator Sadafumi Uchiyama, the short course takes place at Portland Japanese Garden and includes an overnight in the Columbia Gorge at the stunning Menucha Retreat Center. It’s eligible for continuing education units for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and other professional organizations as well.
Learn More & Apply
Bring Haiku Alive to Your Classroom or Home!

Haiku Alive — our school outreach program teaching the Japanese cultural value of living in harmony with nature through focusing on poetic tradition — has reached more than a thousand under-served elementary school students since its inception in 2011. We’re pleased to announce that the program will begin its ninth season with a new face — educator, poet and visual artist Anne Paris will succeeds the retiring Joan Kvitka, who created the program nearly a decade ago.

“Nature teaches us how to live. My study of haiku, as well as my own practice as a writer and a teacher, has taught me how valuable this compressed form, along with the observation of the natural world, can be in gaining understanding about our own inner state. I can see that students who participate in the Haiku Alive program have also discovered the power of this poetic form, as well as the power of observation in nature.”

Haiku Alive is a partnership with Parkrose School District and Park Academy. But starting this month, anyone can bring the Haiku Alive learning experience into their classroom or home! Haiku Alive’s curriculum outline, presentations, and worksheets are now available to download for free.

Explore Teaching Materials
>From the Archives

Take a deep breath and see the Garden anew through the curious eyes of Haiku Alive students with this article published in the Garden’s magazine last year.

The International Japanese Garden Training Center teaches traditional skills and techniques for creating and fostering Japanese gardens — while acquainting learners with the garden’s cultural heart and soul. Workshops, seminars, and lectures take place at the Garden and offsite venues. Visiting and permanent faculty include Portland Japanese Garden staff and practitioners, designers, and academics from the U.S., Japan, and other countries. The Center, the only such program in the world outside of Japan, is a recipient of a 2018 Program of Excellence Award from the American Public Gardens Association.
To learn more, contact the Training Center’s Director Kristin Faurest at
Training Center Quick Links
Watch a Video
Waza to Kokoro
Garden+ Lecture Series
Copyright © 2019 Portland Japanese Garden, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Portland Japanese Garden

611 SW Kingston Ave

Portland, OR 97205-5886

Categories: Oregon, Portland | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Celebrate the Queen’s birthday Saturday September 7

The 20th annual He Hali`a Aloha No Lili`uokalani is Saturday, September 7

Newsletter September 2019

Here is the link to Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens newsletter for the month of September 2019.

Categories: Hawaii, Hilo | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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