Missouri

What else has been in the garden?

coyote track

Tracks of wildlife are not uncommon at Sansho-en, the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden at Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL. This coyote track was found one morning near the shoin house.

What’s in your garden when you aren’t looking? Gardeners have to deal with more than the occasional insect infestation or small children climbing on stones.

Perhaps the coyote at Sansho-en was hunting something like the rabbits I noticed all over the lawn at Marston House in San Diego.

Late one afternoon, rabbits covered the lawns at Marsden House in San Diego at the upper end of Balboa Park.

Late one afternoon, rabbits covered the lawns at Marston House in San Diego at the upper end of Balboa Park.

Birds seem to cause the most difficulty for gardens with ponds, especially birds that eat koi like a heron at Fort Worth and another at San Antonio’s Sunken Gardens at Brackenridge Park.

photo by Bill F. Eger

Focused, this fast beak scooped up several small fish from the pond at Sunken Garden in San Antonio.

goose

A wary goose halted momentarily at the end of the path near the plum viewing arbor at Missouri Botanical Garden. Geese leave behind copious amounts of waste making paths into minefields.

mallards

Ducks join koi in the pond at Ro Ho En in Phoenix, competing for food.

But of all the critters we came across, furry or feathered or two-legged, the smallest seemed to cause the most problems. My husband was unfamiliar with squirrels and chipmunks and was taking a lot of photographs. Horticulturist Benjamin Carroll at Sansho-en noticed this and commented that Bill “wouldn’t find them so cute when you see the damage they do.”

This bold fellow owned the path at the Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford IL.

This bold fellow owned the path at the Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford IL.

NYC squirrel

Waterfront squirrel in between Battery Park and the wharves in New York City

Photos in this blog otherwise uncredited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger.

Categories: Arizona, Glencoe, Illinois, Missouri, Rockford, San Antonio, St. Louis, Texas | Tags: , | Leave a 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

DSCF4948

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

Seiwa-en — Garden of pure, clear harmony and peace in St. Louis

2014 Note: 2013 winter renovations in the Japanese garden were completed and the garden re-opened in the spring on 2014. To view some of the work accomplished please view the garden’s Flicker site.

Boat Landing under construction

 

 

pagoda visible from Magnolia Avenue, plaque at the left side of the base reads “In Loving Memory Edwin L. Lopata 1909-1998
The Lopata Family”
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Our photographer friend drove us along Magnolia Avenue where we peeked over the fence to the edge of the Japanese garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Beautifully trimmed trees accented the drive from there along Alfred Avenue to the main parking area.

inside the Climatron, we watch the rain pour down

We arrived at the appointed time and so did a massive Midwestern thunderstorm complete with heavy rain that drove us into the Climatron and with lightening strikes that sounded very close. We all agreed to postpone our scheduled tour of the Japanese garden for a few hours. It was a somewhat tense few hours as we waited for the storm to pass. This is a big garden and we didn’t want to miss out. It was as close as we came to getting rained out on this heavily scheduled month long garden adventure.

Upon our return in the early afternoon, I asked a worker driving an electric maintenance cart where we might find Teresa Pafford.

“You mean Teresa in the Trees?”

Well, that nickname makes sense to me. Teresa and I got to know each other during the 6th International Symposium on Japanese Gardening in San Diego during a black pine pruning class. But this gentleman was referring to her delight in getting up inside big trees and pruning them properly. It turns out that the trees I noticed as we drove along the first couple of blocks of Alfred Avenue are among trees in Teresa’s care.

Teresa shows K.T. a large piece of tree bark that came down in the storm.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

As described on the Missouri Botanical Garden web site. “Teresa Pafford started working at the Missouri Botanical Garden in June 2003 as a gardener after graduating from Truman State University with a B.S in Agricultural Business. Most of her horticulture knowledge has been acquired here at the Garden from many experts and through conferences and seminars. She took a strong interest in trees, shrubs, and pruning within her first couple years of working at the Garden, which led her to arborist certification through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). She is now one of the primary tree climbers/pruners on Garden grounds. Her pruning mentor was and still is Ben Chu, who helped guide her through Japanese style pruning. One of her favorite things about pruning is seeing the results over time, whether it’s something as simple as seeing a wound callus over properly or something as advanced as training a branch to grow a certain direction. She truly is addicted to pruning.”

a waterfall leads to a stream
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Her mentor, Ben Chu, joined Missouri Botanical Garden in 1982 after completing his education in Horticulture at St. Louis Community College at Meramec and working for a tree service company from 1978 to 1982.

and the stream meanders
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“At Missouri Botanical Garden he worked in landscape construction doing site preparation and planting large trees and shrubs for the Ridgway Building plantings, the Rhododendron Garden, and Swift Vista near the Linnean House,” as the Missouri Botanical Garden web site describes him.

the stream meanders past a gravel river bank and a touch of color
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“In 1985 Chu became the supervisor of Seiwa-en and worked with its designer, the late Koichi Kawana. He currently supervises a staff of nine full-time horticulturists, including three staff members in the Japanese Garden, and six additional staff members in other parts of the Garden. Ben encourages his staff to design and implement their own designs and helps to evaluate the results. He wants their jobs to include learning opportunities.”

and the stream empties into the large reflecting pond with an island that holds a tea house for special occasions
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

This year, Chu was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recognizing his outstanding contributions to Japan-U.S. relations. The award was presented during a sakura planting ceremony in April, which marked the 100th anniversary of plantings at the Tidal Basin in Washington DC and the gift of 20 new cherry trees to Missouri Botanical Garden.

karesansui and display area for fall chrysanthemums
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Seiwa-en at Missouri Botanical Garden

Seiwa-en began as the dream of the Japanese American Citizens’ League in St. Louis in 1972. JACL secured the services of garden designer Koichi Kawana who supervised construction and development until his death in 1990. Seiwa-en was dedicated on May 5, 1977. Kawana was born in Hokkaido in 1930. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1971.

secluded path in to rustic tea house
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Kawana was a professor and lecturer on Japanese landscape architecture, Japanese art and environmental design at UCLA for 24 years. He is credited with major garden designs in several U.S. cities including Chicago and Denver.

a gift of Nagano to Missouri
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

A four and a half mat tea house was donated byMissouri’s Sister State Nagano. Nearby is a yukimi-doro, snow viewing lantern donated by St. Louis’ Sister City Suwa.

To see a satellite view of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the ponds of the Japanese garden, go to

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

Iris were donated by Adolph Vogt, a respected hybridizer of Japanese iris of Louisville, Kentucky, who passed away in 1992.

iris by the zig zag bridge

view of the zig zag bridge for seeing blooming iris up close as seen from across the pond

Using this modern view, it’s easy to spot the round stone beach, zig zag bridge and iris plantings, several karesansui, the foliage of the plum viewing area, bridges and paths leading to the tea house, even the wavy line of the lotus plantings at one end of the pond.

For a more extensive article on Seiwa-en, visit the Missouri Botanical Garden web site:

http://www.mobot.org/hort/gardens/japanese/intro/index.shtml

color and texture surround a lantern
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

The land now known as Missouri Botanical Garden started as the estate of retired businessman turned horticulturalist and philanthropist, Henry Shaw.

Born in Sheffield England in 1800, Shaw joined his father’s business making and selling iron and steel products. When a shipment of goods to New Orleans went astray in 1819, Henry traveled to the United States, located the missing products and, not finding buyers in New Orleans, took a paddle wheel steamer up the Mississippi to a small French village barely 50 years old – St. Louis.

plum viewing pavilion
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

This was a booming time as vast territories of the Midwest were opened up just a few years earlier by the Louisiana Purchase, which nearly doubled the size of the United States. Shaw opened a hardware store and found ready customers in the trappers, settlers and pioneers heading west. He was so successful in the next 20 years that he was able to retire at the age of 40 to travel and pursue his interest in botany.

summer is the season for lotus
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Returning from his travels to St. Louis in 1851, he engaged an architect and several botanists. He planned, funded and built what is now known as Missouri Botanical Garden on the land around his home. Among botanists he consulted were Sir William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Dr. George Engelmann, a respected amateur botanist from St. Louis, and Asa Gray of Harvard University. Shaw’s garden was donated and opened to the public in 1859 making Missouri Botanical Garden one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States.

across the lotus patch looking toward the plum viewing area
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Shaw’s philanthropy included endowment of the School of Botany at Washington University and assistance in founding the Missouri Historical Society. He died in 1889 and is buried in a mausoleum on the grounds. The 79 acres of Missouri Botanical Garden include Seiwa-en, a 14 acre Japanese garden built in the pond and strolling style.

large basin at the entry of Seiwa-en

St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904

Seiwa-en was not the first public Japanese garden built in St. Louis. That distinction may belong to the three-plus acre Japanese garden at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, more popularly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, which opened a year late to allow for more participation by states and foreign countries. Like the World’s Columbia Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, also a year late, many of the structures were constructed to be temporary.

parts of this lantern date back to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

The Fair opened on April 30 and, through the closing ceremonies on December 1, nearly 20 million visitors availed themselves of this opportunity to see the world, revel in “palaces” dedicated to progress and have some fun. And as was true with expositions or world fairs in Philadelphia and Chicago, more people were exposed to the Japanese aesthetic presented in these collections of historic garden styles.

1904 World’s Fair Japanese garden in St. Louis
(collection of the Missouri Historical Society)

To see what the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition Japanese garden looked like from the air, take this visual ride in the Ferris Wheel: http://exhibits.slpl.org/lpe/data/lpe240022874.asp?thread=240029909

details, details

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

outer gate to the tea garden

A personal note: Much gratitude is due professional photographer Scott Lokitz who picked us up near Union Station and drove us around all day. There’s something wonderful about being in the company of a person who loves their town. Scott was full of special spots and history, insight and genuine delight. There’s also something inspirational about being in the company of an accomplished professional. Scott showed us his studio, a beautifully restored brick building on Russell Boulevard at Mississippi. Anyone in the St. Louis area needing a high school senior portrait, event documentation, architectural photos, etc. should consider Scott Lokitz. http://scottlokitz.com/services.html

The Sister State relationship between Nagano and Missouri

A news article from Kansas City in the Lawrence Journal-World on April 27, 1964 announced the sister state relationship between Nagano Prefecture and the state of Missouri.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2199&dat=19640427&id=naZAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_OUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5648,2210584

A plaque outside the tea garden gate memorializes this Sister State relationship. The teahouse was dedicated on an auspicious date with a Shinto ceremony.

“The citizen of Nagano Prefecture, Japan, Sister State of Missouri, presents this teahouse to the citizen of Missouri as a memorial of the nice friendship between both states on the occasion of American Bicentennial year.”

Governor of Nagano Prefecture

Gonichiro Nishizawa

May 5, 1977

Addenda 27 August 2013

While scanning photos for a family tree at the behest of my sisters and brothers, I chanced upon a photograph from my grandfather’s trunk. His family lived in Frankfort, Kentucky. After graduating from Harvard University in 1905, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and enjoyed a 30 year career with postings in China, Japan, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Washington DC and many other places.

At first glance, I thought this image might be from one of those foreign locales, but with the aid of a magnifying glass I caught English words on the buildings. With confirmation from my friend Ken Brown, a world’s fair buff if there ever was one, I now add this photo of the Japanese exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, popularly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904.

St. Louis 1904

Kendall H. Brown, professor of Asian art history at California State University Long Beach, identified my grandfather’s photo as “the ‘dragon gate’ at the Fair Japan exhibit at St. Louis. The Japan bazaar was on the left, the restaurant on the right.”
The restaurant bears the words “Roof Garden.” Photo courtesy of the Weitzel Family archives.

For additional views and information on the fair, visit

http://exhibits.slpl.org/lpe/data/LPE240024653.asp?thread=240029396

Categories: Missouri, St. Louis | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Technical difficulties

one section of bamboo fence at Kumamoto-en

“Technical difficulties” — two words packed with so much meaning, perhaps even more than the proverbial “picture is worth a thousand words.”

We are traveling with three computers and there came a time when none of them would talk to the others let alone allow communication with the wider web.

Now, a few moments before we have to leave Telluride, Colorado to photograph a Japanese garden in Grand Junction then catch a train for the west coast, finally everything seems to be working again.

Apologies for the seeming silence. I feel eight gardens and three states behind in keeping this blog. So while I have a connection, here are a few glimpses of articles to come from San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas and Saint Louis.

Unless otherwise credited, photos in this blog are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. You may view a full size image by double clicking on any photo.

a rustic bridge “to walk over the moon” at the Isamu Taniguchi garden inside the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas

school children spy a lizard in the Fort Worth Japanese garden

detail from one section of a new sculpture garden that wraps around a highrise in Dallas adjacent to the Crow Collection of Asian Art

the plum viewing area at Seiwa-en, Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

Categories: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Missouri, San Antonio, St. Louis, Texas | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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