Colorado

Enthusiastic Denver garden curator tours Hilo’s Lili`uokalani Gardens

On Saturday, May 18, the board of directors of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens welcomed Ebi Kondo, curator of Sho-Fu-En the Japanese garden at Denver Botanic Gardens and a board member of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA), to Hilo’s bayfront park along with several Hilo community leaders with long-time ties to the garden.

Ebi Kondo, curator of Sho-Fu-En at the Denver Botanic Gardens
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Kondo was enthusiastic about Lili`uokalani Gardens. “This is an old-style pleasure garden,” he said. “You have so much history here. This is a great event  to be shared with all who visit.

“There is such a good feeling to this garden, both casual and elegant. I see a welcome, peaceful, casual, approachable, carefree environment. This is a great combination of American-Japanese garden with Hilo Hawaii flavor.”

Ebi Kondo of Sho-Fu-En Japanese Garden in Denver Colorado explains the benefits of membership in a public garden organization. Nearby are Friends of Lili`uokalani members Harvey Tajiri and K.T. Cannon-Eger.

Ebi Kondo of Sho-Fu-En Japanese Garden in Denver Colorado explains the benefits of membership in NAJGA a non-profit public garden organization. Nearby are Friends of Lili`uokalani members Harvey Tajiri and K.T. Cannon-Eger.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Kondo worked on the revitalization of the Japanese garden in Denver. “It takes everybody working together,” he said.

Sho-Fu-En now features a new roji (dewy garden path) to the tea house as well as a separate ADA compliant path. The tea house in Denver is like the one in Hilo in one respect: there are two areas for practitioners and participants — one more traditional with tatami floor and one Western with folding chairs.

Della Allison Yamashiro of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, listens to Hiroshi Suga, president of the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, speak of cooperation to promote and preserve Japanese culture and foster harmony and fellowship in Hawaii County.

Della Allison Yamashiro of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, listens to Hiroshi Suga, president of the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, speak of cooperation to promote and preserve Japanese culture, and foster harmony and fellowship in Hawaii County.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Russ Oda speaks of Shoroan and the history of Urasenke in Hawaii.

Russ Oda speaks of Shoroan and the history of Urasenke in Hawaii.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Kondo also was enthusiastic about the role of public gardens in communities. “To me, garden is a place to make memories. Happy people come here and are more happy. Sad people who come here are lifted.”

The casual tour wandered over to shade by the bamboo grove..

The casual tour wandered over to shade by the bamboo grove.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Dwayne Mukai, president of Kumamoto Kenjin Kai, and Rev. Jeffrey Soga, Rimban for Hawaii Island's Hongwanji join in the conversation. (photo by Bill F. Eger)

Dwayne Mukai, president of Kumamoto Kenjin Kai, and Rev. Jeffrey Soga, Rimban for Hawaii Island’s Hongwanji join in the conversation.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

KT&Ebi-Basin-5577

K.T. Cannon-Eger, Ebi Kondo and Philippe Nault ponder an ancient stone basin.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Sho-Fu-En at Denver Botanic Gardens is one of the leadership gardens in the formation of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). Kondo took time to emphasize to the group the importance of sharing information. “There will come a time when you have a question and you need to find resources. That is the reason we have this association of public gardens…to be of help to each other with workshops on horticulture, stonescaping, pond building, fund raising, message presentation and all of the things you will face.”

NAJGA offers two regional conferences later this year. Woodworking skills and traditional hand tools will be held August 13-16 in Oakland, California with site visits to several gardens in the area. Constructing Japanese water features and selection and care of koi will be held September 20-21 at Shofuso in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Registration is open now for the woodworking conference in Oakland. More details on the regional conference in Pennsylvania will be available in July. Go to the NAJGA web site for further information. http://www.najga.org

For additional stories in this blog on Denver or NAJGA, check the category and tag lists to the right side of the screen.

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Categories: California, Colorado, Denver, Hawaii, Hilo, Oakland, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

First NAJGA Journal published

The first issue of the Journal of the North American Japanese Garden Association

The first issue of the Journal of the North American Japanese Garden Association features a view of the tea deck at Sho-Fu-En in Denver Botanic Gardens.
photo by Bill F. Eger

The first issue of The Journal of the North American Japanese Garden Association arrived in our mailbox the other day and it’s gorgeous! Within heavy cover stock are more than 60 pages of well written, beautifully illustrated articles.

Topics in this inaugural edition include an extensive article by Robert Karr on The Garden of the Phoenix in Chicago — which article has been translated into Japanese. The story celebrates the 120-year history of the garden and looks toward the future with plans for mass plantings of cherry trees in the lagoon nearby.

It is followed by a detailed account of a garden now gone: Middlegate Japanese Gardens of Pass Christian, Mississippi by landscape architect Anne Legett.

As Journal editor Kendall Brown points out, “The former garden’s bright future and the latter’s forlorn state signal the fragility of gardens and the need for careful stewardship.”

Six regional gardens — Birmingham, Alabama; Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; Kumamoto-en in San Antonio, Texas; Sho-Fu-En in Denver, Colorado, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on the campus of California State University Long Beach and Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon — offer comparative and contrasting views on several questions surrounding the topic of master planning. NAJGA executive director Diana Lawroe analyzed results of questions, interviews and documents, pulling together a cogent and insightful article.

A Living Friendship of Flowers details horticultural challenges in observing the centennial of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Gift. Case studies include Chicago Botanic Garden, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and Waimea Hawaii.

An article on interpretive education offers case studies on docent tours, ephemeral and permanent signs, and new technologies such as cell phone guides.

Jill Raggett, Ph.D., is a specialist in the emergence of Japanese style gardens in the British Isles, historic garden restoration, and biographies for the Japan Society. This distinguished speaker offers her view of the first conference of NAJGA — Connections — held October 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

Finally there is a book review of a reprint of the 1940 work by America’s first Japanese garden expert Loraine E. Kuck, well known to Hawaii garden folk for her books and garden designs here. Miyuki Katahita-Manabe, Ph.D., of Osaka notes in her review: “The reprinting in 2012 of Loraine Kuck’s The Art of Japanese Gardens, first published in 1940, provides an opportunity for reassessing this important book that introduced many English-language readers to the cultural history of Japanese gardens.”

The Journal is a benefit of NAJGA membership. It was made possible through the support of The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. Japanese language translation service were provided by Matsuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.

NAJGA is a professional non-profit membership organization dedicated to the advancement and sustainability of Japanese gardens throughout the United States and Canada. Founded in 2011 with input from more than 200 Japanese garden professionals, NAJGA focuses on the Horticulture, Human Culture, and Business Culture of Japanese gardens through a variety of programs and services. NAJGA membership is open to everyone.

For more information, go to http://www.najga.org

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Cover photo for The Journal by Bill F. Eger. Comments on this and other articles in this blog are welcome.

Categories: Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America arrives on bookshelves worldwide

cover photo by David Cobb of the hexagonal yukimi style lantern at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle

cover photo by David Cobb of the hexagonal yukimi style lantern at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle

A new look at Japanese gardens in North America — Quiet Beauty — provides the viewing public with detailed information and delightful photographs on 26 peaceful places across the continental United States and into Canada.

Author Kendall H. Brown is a professor of Asian art history at California State University Long Beach. Photographer David M. Cobb is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association, Garden Writers Association, and Professional Photographers of America.

Released by the esteemed publishing house Tuttle Publishing, this beautiful book offers history and invites thoughtfulness on how these gardens came to be and what they offer to us now. Insightful text is accompanied by more than 180 stunning color photographs and a few reproductions of antique postal cards.

In the introduction — Places to Dream — Dr. Brown notes, “Japanese gardens or, more accurately, Japanese-style gardens, in North America offer distinct pleasures. In contrast to the cacophony of cities, the anonymity of suburbs, and even the anxiety of deserts or forests, these gardens can provide beautifully controlled environments. In artful landscapes we lose ourselves in a path woven around a pond and a harmonious stone arrangement; we delight in the variegated colors of graceful koi and the bright hues of blossoming plums; and we are calmed by a stream’s gentle murmur and the dappled greens of moss. Another kind of pleasure is contextual and social rather than sensory and psychological. Japanese gardens in North America are often found where we least expect them, and in places unknown in pre-modern Japan. Thus we feel a special delight in discovering a ‘dry garden’ of stones and sand at a museum, a lush pond garden on a college campus, or a waterfall-fed stream garden in a hospital. Those familiar with gardens in Japan may also enjoy Japanese-style gardens intellectually, noting creative plant substitutions or thoughtful ways of interpreting Japanese design principles within distinctly North American spaces.”

Dr. Brown takes three eras posited by garden historian Makoto Suzuki of the Nodai Institute, professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture, and expands them to five: the age of world fairs and expositions, building bridges, innovation by adaptation, expansive visions and traditions transformed.

During the past ten years. I have read many articles by Ken Brown and have heard him speak at several conferences. I serve on the editorial board of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) which editorial board he chairs. In person, I can verify that Dr. Brown delivers a substantial amount of information in a short amount of time — all of it masterfully accompanied by photographs, post cards, newspaper clippings and other visual aids along with a good sense of humor and split second timing. There are times I have felt he is delivering information faster than I can absorb it so I am delighted to have such a beautiful volume I can savor at leisure.

I have a special appreciation for David Cobb’s photographs. My husband and I have been to many of the places depicted and know what it takes to get the perfect image of that spot. So many of Cobb’s shots are truly breathtaking.

back cover photo by David Cobb of the Japanese garden at Fort Worth Botanic Garden in Texas

back cover photo by David Cobb of the Japanese garden at Fort Worth Botanic Garden in Texas

Gardens featured in Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America are:

the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco California 1894;

Japanese Garden at the Huntington Botanic Garden, San Marino California 1911 (also 1968, 2011);

Maymont Japanese Garden, Richmond Virginia, 1911 (1977);

Japanese Hill and Pond Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York 1915;

Hakone Estate and Garden, Saratoga California 1918;

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1958;

Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle Washington 1960;

Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver B.C. Canada 1960;

Japanese Garden at the Blodel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Washington 1961 (1978, 1986);

Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon 1963;

Japanese Garden in San Mateo Central Park, San Mateo California 1965;

Nikka-Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge, Alberta 1966;

Nishinomiya Garden in Mani to Park, Spokane Washington 1974;

Japanese Garden in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth Texas 1973;

Shomu’en at Cheekwood, Nashville Tennessee 1990;

Seiwa’en at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Missouri 1977;

Sansho’en at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe Illinois 1982;

Shofu’en at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Colorado 1979;

Suiho’en at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Van Nuys California 1984;

Seisuitei at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen Minnesota 1985 (1996);

Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford Illinois 1978;

Japanese Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal Quebec 1988;

Tenshin’en at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Massachusetts 1988;

Roji’en in the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach Florida 2001;

R0ho’en in Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix Arizona 2002; and

Garden of the Pine Wind at Garven Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs Arkansas 2001.

Marvelous additions in the appendices include garden contacts and a select bibliography including books, journals and websites plus a listing of 75 important Japanese gardens in North America, five of which are in the state of Hawaii.

The Hawaii gardens appearing in this list include:

the Cultural Gardens at Honolulu International Airport 1967;

Imin (East West) Center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa 1963 (teahouse 1972);

Byodo’in Gardens, Kaneohe Oahu 1968;

Japanese Garden and Teahouse at Kepaniwai Park, Wailuku Maui 1968 (teahouse 1972); and

Lili`uokalani Gardens, Hilo Hawai`i (1917).

December 17, 1944 from the library of the Hawaiian Historical Society

Lili`uokalani Gardens on December 17, 1944 from the library of the Hawaiian Historical Society in Honolulu

For more information on Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America and other books available from Tuttle Publishing, please consult the web site

http://wwwtuttlepublishing.com

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For more information on the North American Japanese Garden Association, please consult the web site:

http://www.najga.com

Categories: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Texas | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Grand Junction garden a work in progress

entry fountain

A new fountain, adjacent to the gift shop, graces the entry to the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

The Western Colorado Botanical Garden, located in Grand Junction, is one of several legacies of the late landscape architect Robert “Bob” Arcieri who passed away while on a hike in the remote canyons of Utah in 2007. He was born in Grand Junction to William and Sabbie Arcieri, the owners of the Arcieri Nursery on First Street. It was at this nursery that Bob’s love of nature and knowledge of plants developed and grew into a lifelong passion, according to the Summit Daily News.

A 1961 graduate of Grand Junction High School, senior class president and an Eagle Scout, Arcieri attended Stanford University for two years and then transferred to Iowa State and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture. He was inducted into the Honor Society of Agriculture and the Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts. He continued his education at Iowa State, graduating with a Masters Degree in Urban Planning in 1968.

Bob moved to Breckenridge in 1970 and with Architect Jon Gunson formed the Harris St. Group, an architecture and planning firm which designed the sidewalks, lights and landscaping on Main Street as well as the town’s Master Plan, development code and historic guidelines which are still in use today. The firm received numerous awards, including the American Institute of Planners Meritorious Program Award and the State of Colorado Columbine Award for Design Excellence.

In 1982, Bob and his wife Deb moved to Grand Junction, where Bob practiced as a Landscape Architect. He received numerous landscape awards for gardens in Grand Junction, many in conjunction with Bookcliff Gardens.

“Bob’s legacy will live on in the beautiful gardens, waterfalls, and changed landscapes in Western Colorado,” said his obituary in the Summit Daily News of October 13, 2007.

The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is one such changed landscape.

Walkway

walkway from conservatory toward Japanese and desert gardens
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“Years ago this was salvage yard, a junk yard,” said Margie Frey who has worked with the gardens for two years. Her name tag notes her title as Garden Diva. “The Japanese garden was designed by Bob Arcieri in the late 1990s. He did this amazing design plus a 50 page document on plants, styles etc., but the garden remains a work in progress.”

detail of sidewalk

looking closely at the sidewalk, we noticed fish inscribed in the cement
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

There are 15 acres in the botanical gardens and ten named gardens. Although the organization has had some difficulty raising money in the past, things are looking up.

“Repairs in the greenhouse were completed and we reopened three months ago. The gift shop helps support garden,” said Frey.

A mutually beneficial partnership is underway with Mesa Developmental Services, a non-profit group that assists persons with developmental disabilities.

pond

the pond in the Japanese section of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is part of a stream overflow system on the other side of the fence
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Mesa Developmental Services has a mobile crew that helps handle landscapes, a woodshop crew that helped with rebuilding, and a labor solutions program that helps with recycling and shredding.”

The gardens also enjoy collaboration with Colorado State University. “The rose garden was just planted last year and includes century old rose varieties. The cactus society takes care of the cactus garden, the herb society and orchid society help out too. The bonsai club meets here once a month,” Frey said.

bench

a log bench set on high ground overlooks the pond
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Among plants featured in the Japanese garden are a recently planted weeping white pine, a weeping crabapple planted on Earth Day, weeping cherry trees, Black Hills spruce and pine.

The small garden structure was designed to camouflage the pump house. A bridge remains to be built at the concrete lined pond planted with water lilies. Local stone has been used throughout the garden.

KT and Marge

K.T. interviews Margie Frey, the structure in the background hides pump equipment.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

For more information on the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, go to the link

http://www.wcbotanic.org

For more information on Bookcliff Gardens, go to the link

http://www.bookcliffgardens.com/

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

Comments on this and other articles in this blog are welcome.

Categories: Colorado, Grand Junction | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sho-fu-en, the Garden of the Pine and Wind, in Denver makes great use of native plants

Denver Botanic Gardens

(photo by Bill F. Eger)

After obtaining his degree in horticulture in Japan and interning at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Akiyoshi (Ebi) Kondo joined Denver Botanic Gardens as a Horticulturist in April 2000 and was in charge of the display gardens and collections.

In 2003 Ebi was promoted to Senior Horticulturist and took responsibility of Sho-Fu-En, Denver Botanic Garden’s Japanese Garden. Originally designed by Koichi Kawana, construction on the two acre garden began in August 1978. Sho-fu-en, Garden of the Pines and Wind, was dedicated June 23, 1979.

“This was designed to be a provincial garden. Gifu-ken and Takayama-shi are next to the Nagano mountains, a very rugged area. Here we are amid the Rocky Mountains, also a rugged area,” Kondo said.

Shibui

A simple clean pond edge, a clear reflection, careful maintenance, the contributions of garden designers and gardeners since 1978 all add up to the shibui feeling of Sho-fu-en.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“This was one of Kawana-san’s last major gardens. It’s very shibui, very quiet.”

Koichi Kawana designed gardens in St. Louis, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Memphis Tennessee; Los Angeles and San Diego, California among others. The Hokkaido native who became a U.S. citizen in 1971 died in 1990 at the age of 60.

Koichi Kawana

Garden designer Koichi Kawana
(photo from City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works)

In 1979, the tea house was constructed in Japan “very mountain style,” said Kondo. “Not an ostentatious display; very good size for demonstrating tea ceremony.”

tea house gate

Ebi Kondo holds open the gate to the 1979 tea house at Sho-fu-en.

Built by Kumo Construction Company in Nagano, the tea house was disassembled and shipped to Denver. Company president Mr. Toshitame Hirabayashi and eight co-workers reassembled the teahouse along with the bridge and entry gate in 14 days. The teahouse was donated by the Eleanore Mullen Weckbaugh Foundation.

tea house interior

tea house interior with chairs set up for demonstration audience to the right

When the garden started, more than 130 character pines were moved from nearby Estes Park by the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Club. Permits were obtained from the U.S. Forest Service to collect Ponderosa pines. “Japanese gardens encourage the use of native plants. We have about 50 percent natives in this garden,” Kondo said.

Kataoka and Kawahara select pines

Bob Kataoka and Kai Kawahara inspect pines near Denver for possible inclusion in the garden.
(photo from Rocky Mountain Bonsai Club history)

In 1977, Bob Kataoka, Kai Kawahara, Harold Sasaki, Floyd Sunshine, Bob Krueger, Keith Jepson, Larry Jackel and Malcolm Correll manned the first flatbed truck collecting eight or ten pines that trip. Kai Kawahara, was a gardener at Sho-fu-en from 1980 to 1993. He was one of eight founding members of the earlier Denver Bonsai Club that merged to form RMBC.

Kai Kawahara

Head gardener Kai Kawahara in Sho-fu-en in 1987
(Denver Post photo archive)

As sometimes happens in the history of Japanese gardens in America, there came a period of disinterest, low funding and lack of maintenance. By 2000, the garden was in disrepair. “A garden without maintenance for even one season may take ten seasons to reclaim,” Kondo said.

He undertook the initiative of the garden’s restoration reaching out to Mr. Seki the Consulate General of Japan in Denver and ultimately partnering with Mr. Sadafumi Uchiyama from Portland Japanese Garden.

Sadafumi Uchiyama

Sadafumi Uchiyama at a NAJGA regional meeting in Chicago, September 2011

Sadafumi Uchiyama created a master plan for the development of Sho-fu-en in 2003. Phase one included a minor repair of the Tea Ceremony House/garden path ways and phase two encompassed restoration/ renovation of the existing lake and was completed over the following years.

lantern

Some lanterns are designed for display near water.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

In 2007 with help from the Hosokawa Grant, Kondo founded Denver Botanic Gardens tea ceremony guild Sho-Fu-Kai. The guild’s mission is to expose the public and garden patrons to Japanese Tea Ceremony and support the Sho-fu-en. A new machiai, rojimon (gate), obote senko design, uchi roji (inner path), and soto roji (outerpath), were added to the tea garden, opening to the public in mid-June this year.

new well

Sadafumi Uchiyama arranged for the new well at the tea garden to be shipped from Portland, Oregon.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

new gate

humble gatetea garden gate

Now, Sho-fu-en is one of a few signature gardens at Denver Botanic Garden.”We work hard to keep our volunteers happy and enthusiastic,” Kondo said. “We have monthly cultural nights, and regularly scheduled nature hikes and movie nights.

“We need to continue developing and implementing a program, a vision for our garden,” Kondo said. “Otherwise, it is an ornament, not a garden.”

Future programs in development at Sho-fu-en include the Horticultural Therapy Program and Volunteer Docent Program.

Kondo and Uchiyama are among the leadership members of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA), an organization newly formed for the purpose of networking public Japanese Gardens in North America. Kondo also is a member of the Japan America Society of Denver.

NAJGA holds its Connections conference in Denver this weekend (October 2012) with a full slate of workshops at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Also on the program is the premiere of David Slawson’s new film “Evoking Native Landscape Using Japanese Garden Principles” at the Sheraton Downtown on Friday evening. For further information, contact NAJGA at http://www.najga.org

Please feel free to comment on your experience with Denver Botanic Gardens and Sho-fu-en in the comment box below.

Other exhibits at Denver Botanic Gardens:

In addition to the Japanese garden, there are displays in other parts of the botanic garden grounds.

bonsai show

The bonsai club continues to hold juried shows and sales at Denver Botanic Gardens. This one was held Father’s Day weekend 2012.

Kizuna — West Meets East, a series of site specific bamboo installations by Tetsunori Kawana from Japan and Stephen Talasnik from America, continues through November 4.

bamboo installation

bamboo wave

close up of work by Tetsunori Kawana

Also in mid-June 2012, a bonsai pavilion and courtyard opened as a memorial to the late news writer Bill Hosokawa. It was funding from the Alice and Bill Hosokawa Fellowship that helped Sho-fu-kai, the tea ceremony guild, form in 2008.

Hosokawa bonsai pavilion

the new bonsai pavilion shortly before it opened to the public June 2012

Hosokawa courtyard

The Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Courtyard after a rain storm, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.

To view a full size image of any photo, just click on it. Photographs not otherwise credited in this blog are by K.T. Cannon-Eger.

For more information on bonsai history and World War II internment camps, please see
http://www.magiminiland.org/BigPicture/Internment.html

For more information on Denver Botanic Gardens, please visit
http://www.botanicgardens.org/

[updated 8/6/2016 with new website for bonsai history and World War II internment camps]

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Categories: Colorado, Denver | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dinner in Denver at Domo — Delightful and Delicious

Research ahead of our trip pointed us in the direction of Domo Restaurant in Denver. Whenever we mentioned it to friends and family who live nearby, the response was an enthusiastic, “Oh yes! Go there!”

Our friends know us to be adventurous and willing to enjoy most everything.

It’s a country style building in a warehouse district near a public housing project — just a little out of the way, but so worth it. I was not bothered by the sounds of trains passing — in fact enjoyed hearing the whistle blow as night fell around us.

entrance to Domo

The entrance off the gravel parking lot

Our dear friend said he used to come here quite often a few years ago. It felt like home. But then it got discovered and crowded and he stopped going for a while.

Domo garden

soft light in the early evening before sundown — the view from our table toward the center of the garden courtyard

“The garden isn’t like anything you’ve been seeing. It’s much more informal. Like someone’s casual backyard,” he explained. And as we sat and looked around he commented how much the garden had matured since his last visit.

We were seated outdoors at a wooden table with wire chairs. Soon the table was covered with dishes — an abundant feast, tasty and hearty.

Domo garden 2

The garden a little later at night

The servers were attentive, but not overbearing, leaving us to enjoy our conversation and the surroundings.

Domo sake

The sake filled a square cup to overflowing. The overflow was caught in the round saucer. “I need help with my manners,” said my husband to our host. “You are among friends,” he replied. “Just bend over and slurp.” Note the abundance of food on the table and a slightly different view of the garden beyond Bill.

folk art at Domo

Folk art adorns the walls at Domo Restaurant in Denver in one covered dining area at one end of the courtyard.

folk art at Domo

the other side of the room

Take time to wander a bit. The place is packed with memorabilia. There is a museum at one end of the courtyard and an aikido dojo.

Mingei museum at Domo

At one end of the courtyard garden is a large farm-style structure. One side is an aikido dojo. On the other side is a folk museum.

Domo Restaurant, 1365 Osage Street, Denver, CO (303) 595-3666 ‎ · domorestaurant.com

Photos not otherwise credited in this blog are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any photo to see a full size image.

Categories: Colorado, Denver | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The trip West continues

A more extensive article on Chicago’s Osaka Garden at Jackson Park will be posted soon. By 2013, the garden was re-named The Garden of the Phoenix.

Osaka Garden pond and bridge

Osaka Garden pond

Osaka Garden at Jackson Park in Chicago dates from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It was recently renewed due to the efforts of an active Friends group with the expertise and guidance of Sadafumi Uchiyama and the cooperation of the Chicago Parks Department.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from the rest of the journey from Chicago to Denver to San Francisco by train.

Here, we have included images from gardens in Chicago, Denver, Grand Junction, Berkeley, Oakland, Orinda and San Francisco to give you a little taste of the articles still to come.

Denver pond

Looking in one direction, Shofu-en displays one of the inspirations for its name — “Garden of the Pines and Wind.”

Denver Shofu-en

Looking across the pond in another direction, one could feel transported to similar gardens in urban Japan. The residents of the nearby condos must enjoy a beautiful view.

Grand Junction

Entry to the Japanese garden in Grand Junction, Colorado, is through a conservatory with plants familiar to many in Hawaii and other tropical regions.

Berkeley Botanic

This is a small section of the pond in the Japanese garden at UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden. Iris were in bloom throughout our journey in June.

Higashi Hongwanji

The Higashi Hongwanji in Berkeley (www.bonbu.com) has an elegant entry garden maintained in part with the assistance of the Aesthetic Pruners Association.

Oakland

Every detail matters — and here a relatively new stone appears to have been in place for hundreds of years due to the lichen.

borrowed scenery

The living room is arranged to take full advantage of the garden in this private residence in northern California.

WF entry

A rooftop corporate garden in San Francisco, created some years ago, was completely redone recently to address engineering problems that developed over the years. This is a small detail of an area separating the entry door, which leads to the garden, from a walkway that goes around the roof.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

San Francisco
Ginkgo leaves near the 1915 pagoda at the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden

To see a full size version of any photograph in this blog, just click on the image.

Categories: Berkeley, California, Chicago, Colorado, Denver, Grand Junction, Illinois, Oakland, San Francisco | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Conferences, symposia, workshops, tours, festivals and exhibits crowd the fall calendar

If you have been reading right along from Hilo to Atlanta to this point in the blog, you must be as seriously interested in Japanese gardens as we are. And if that’s true, you may wish to have one or more of these conference/symposium/workshop events on your schedule.

Edogawa Commemorative Gardens at Gosford
by Janda Gooding

The 7th International Symposium on Japanese Gardens: Japanese Gardens in the 21st Century will be held in Sydney, Australia, September 1 through 3. Early registration deadline already has passed. Among featured speakers are Mr. Iwatani, Mr. Yamada, Mr. Shiro Nakane, Ken Lamb, Kendall Brown, Mr. Kawase, Cap Saheki, and Mr. Mitsuhashi.

The symposium and hands-on workshops are hosted by Imperial Gardens Landscape and the International Association of Japanese Gardens. Also involved are the Edogawa Commemorative Gardens at Gosford and Auburn City Japanese Gardens. For more information and to register, contact: Imperial Gardens – Ken Lamb

18 Myoora Road, Terrey Hills NSW 2084

Telephone +612 9986 3968 Mobile +61 411 754 683

Email – enquiries@imperialgardens.com.au

Website – http://www.imperialgardens.com.au

The North American Japanese Garden Association will hold Connections 2012 in Denver October 12 through 14. The roster of speakers includes garden designer and author Marc Peter Keane, educator of Nishikigoi Mamoru Kodama, Writtle College, Essex, Reader in gardens and designed landscapes Jill Raggett, Portland Japanese Garden curator Sadafumi Uchiyama, Anderson Japanese Garden curator Tim Gruner, certified aesthetic pruner MaryAnn Burman, Chiba University professor of horticulture Eijiro Fujii, and garden artist and author David Slawson among others.

Hands-on workshops are planned at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

For further information or to register contact NAJGA at 503-222-1194 or send an e-mail

to info@najga.org or go to the organization’s web site: http://www.najga.org

summertime light at Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL
(photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

The Maple Society will meet October 19 through 21 in Seattle with a post conference tour to Oregon October 22 through 24.

Speakers at the “Pacific Northwest Fantasyland Maple Adventure” include Matt Nichols, co-owner of Nichols Nursery, Flat Rock, NC; Charlie Morgan, owner Amazing Maples, Mukilteo, WA; David Degroot, author and Curator of Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, Federal Way, WA; Don Brooks, Director Kubota Gardens, Seattle, WA; David Zuckerman, Head Horticulturist Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, WA; and Talon Buchholz, owner of Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, and plant introductions extraordinaire, Gaston, OR.

Gardens to be visited during the conference include Kubota Gardens, Washington Park Arboretum & Japanese Garden, Bellevue Botanic Garden, Rhododendron Species Foundation, Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, South Puget Sound Community College, Amazing Maples and Bloedel Reserve.

The three day post-conference tour includes Portland Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, Iseli Nursery, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery, Don Schmidt Nursery, Whitman Farms, Oregon Botanic Garden, and Munn’s Nursery.

Please register before September 15, 2012. Credit Cards Accepted. Marielle Eykeman PO Box 2635 Pt. Angeles, WA 98362 (360) 457-6952. More information is available at the web site: http://www.maplesociety.org/nab-seattle-2012

Other opportunities

Every botanic garden we visited, and many we haven’t yet seen, had some schedule of workshops, speakers or art exhibits.

For example, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. the Atlanta Botanical Garden offers a strolling tour with a knowledgeable volunteer.

The Birmingham Botanical Garden has a Fall Plant Sale coming up October 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and October 21 noon to 4 p.m.

The New Orleans Botanical Garden holds plant sales on a regular basis. Two coming up soon are at Pelican Greenhouse, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, August 11, and Saturday, September 8. Check the City Park web site for more events. http://neworleanscitypark.com/

Fort Worth’s Japanese Garden will celebrate its annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 27.

September 1 is opening day of the Dinosaur Stampede at San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Sunday, August 5, is family day at the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden in Chicago Botanic Garden starting at 11 a.m. hands-on activities related to Japanese arts and culture. Family Sunday repeats on September 2.

Denver Botanic Gardens has a number of activities around the general theme Kizuma: West meets East. Large site-specific bamboo art installations by Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik continue through November 4. A lecture on Japanese gardens in the US will be given by curator Ebi Kondo Wednesday, September 12.  “Growing Autonomy – Gardening at Japanese American Internment Camps” is a talk by Dr. Bonnie Clark scheduled for Wednesday, October 10. Moonviewing or O-Tsukimi is slated for full moon in autumn Saturday, September 1.

Check the web sites of gardens near you for current events. There is a list of links to gardens we visited. Just click on Links at the top right side of the first page of this blog to get you started.

Categories: Colorado, Denver | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

More railroad fan photos

Old fashioned stations continued to be our delight as we traveled through Texas to St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, and Grand Junction ending at a newer station in Emeryville near San Francisco.

Fort Worth Texas makes use of portions of the old Union Station.

Inside, Fort Worth offers old style benches. (photo by Bill F. Eger)

Train for St. Louis arrives on track 3 in Fort Worth, TX.

Chicago’s old Union Station undergoing renovation

underground entry from the old station to the newer arrival and departure area across the street in Chicago, IL

I haven’t mentioned food. It was EXCELLENT and freshly prepared for every meal. We dined on BBQ ribs, breaded chicken, salmon, tilapia, steak, shrimp Benedict, lamb shank, and more and everything was delicious.

We went deeper in to the history of trains in the Chicago area with a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry before heading out back to Osaka Garden at Jackson Park, what once was known as Wooded Island at the 1893 Columbia Exposition.

Empire State Express engine 999 in the Museum of Science and Industry — as fascinating a place to me now as it was when I was a child.

poster describing the Empire Express engine 999 at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

Another spot to gain more insight into historical details was the Chicago Art Institute. We had just enough time after checking our large bags in the morning to grab a cab and spend a couple of hours wandering around another old haunt for each of us: me from my childhood and Bill from his college days at University of Chicago.

These tiles came from the Railway Exchange Building on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, also known as the Santa Fe Building.

a museum tag explains the origin of the tiles and the connection to the 1893 Columbian Exposition

In Denver, we chose The Oxford Hotel because of its proximity to Union Station only to find that the station is undergoing a three year renovation which will result in combined services being available there. Meanwhile, the temporary station is quite a few blocks away. I would stay at the Oxford Hotel again at the drop of a hat. Wonderful staff, service, accommodations and location.

Denver’s Union Station at night

Denver’s Union Station from the front door of The Oxford Hotel

Another wonderful advantage to train travel is the view through LARGE windows. It was such a difference from the somewhat dangerous escapade of trying to see something from a speeding car while maintaining safety on the highway.

huge view of the changing countryside and geology as the train moved from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado

The new station in Grand Junction, Colorado is right next to the old one, now closed and boarded up.

old Grand Junction sign notes “elevation 4,578” and “population 28,000”

heading west from Grand Junction through Utah and Nevada

a town in California advertises itself as “above the fog, below the snow”

End of the line — at least as far as train travel on this journey is concerned — at Emeryville, California.

Unless otherwise credited, photos in this blog are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any image for a full-size view.

Categories: Amtrak, California, Chicago, Colorado, Denver, Grand Junction, Illinois | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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