The new United States Postal Service Priority Mail postage stamp is a centennial project of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens four years in the making.
Lili`uokalani Gardens joins a select group of iconic features on the American Landmark series of Priority Mail and Express Mail stamps, which began in 2008. Previous stamps in the series include the Columbia River Gorge, Mackinac Bridge, Mount Rushmore, Hoover Dam, Old Faithful, and Grand Central Terminal to name a few. The other Hawaii image in the series was USS Arizona Memorial, an Express Mail stamp released in 2014.
The Lili`uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp marks the centennial of the beginning of this well-known and heavily used cultural landscape. It is the first time a Hilo locale appears on a U.S. stamp and the first time a Japanese garden is featured on a U.S. stamp.
“Art Smith and Tony Kassel came up with the idea in 2013,” said past president Bill Eger. “Four of us met and hammered out a one-page proposal that was submitted to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee in August. Two months later we heard that the proposal made it through the first round and the proposal would be heard by the Committee.”
Two years passed before the next word was received in August 2015 that a company was researching possible designs and wished to use one of Mr. Eger’s photographs from 2012 of the iconic red bridge and three lanterns.
Detailed research behind every U.S. postage stamp issue is lengthy and precise.
“We are grateful to one of our board members, Kenji Kuroshima, and his wife Michelle for a detailed new map of all the lanterns and monuments in Lili`uokalani Gardens,” said K.T. Cannon-Eger. “Additional research was done with Pat Okamura and Professor Masafumi Honda at the Hawaii Japanese Center. Another board member Glenn Miyao helped locate an old map in County Parks & Recreation Department files.
“This research helped answer questions from PhotoAssist Inc. such as: Where did these lanterns come from? How long have they been there? Who designed the lanterns? Was the red bridge shelter original to the garden? What happened in the tsunami of 1946? 1960?
“The process of answering research questions, proofreading draft text, and providing local contact information went on nearly a year,” Cannon-Eger said.
“On December 28, 2016, we heard the news. It was official at last. The stamp would be issued in 2017. What a great New Year’s present for Hilo, for Lili`uokalani Gardens’ centennial, and for Japanese gardens everywhere.”
In early January, 2017, we received a phone call from Duke Gonzales of the U.S. Postal Service in Honolulu telling us the date for first release of the stamp. Planning began immediately for the dedication event Monday, January 23.
Stamps are available for sale online and at Post Offices across the nation. The USPS will have stamps and hand postmarking available in Lili`uokalani Gardens Monday, January 23, following dedication ceremonies.
First day of issue was Sunday, January 22, 2017, in Kansas City, Missouri, for both the Lili`uokalani Gardens Priority Mail stamp and a St. Louis Arch Express Mail stamp.
One of the benefits of doing what we love and telling people about our travels is the occasional invitation to a private garden. Some are residential, some corporate, but they share the characteristic of being unavailable to the general public except for special occasions such as a group garden tour or other by-invitation-only event.
Such was the case with a residential garden and a corporate roof top garden, both in northern California.
The big lesson from this garden, once again, is the joy attained by inviting the outside in and extending the inside out. Every piece of furniture was arranged to take advantage of the view. No sofa was placed blocking a window. Distant views were “borrowed” to make the garden seem much larger.
The residential garden was in hilly country. Crossing a bridge into a busy urban area, we were invited to a roof top garden constructed decades ago. Within the past ten years, the trees and stones were lifted, repairs made, and all replaced to return serenity to the area.
This is one small way in which visiting one garden can assist another, even if it is a small thing like advising the southern garden to turn their basin around.
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Photos not otherwise credited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Should you choose to re-post a blog entry or use a photo, be nice and give credit. Mahalo and arigato.
[The first part of this post announced the workshop. See the end of the post for more photos of the garden and workshop.]
The North American Japanese Garden Association will present a two-day regional workshop in Philadelphia, PA, Friday and Saturday September 20 and 21.
The first day will begin with a presentation on the history and significance of water in the Japanese garden setting by Seiko Goto, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University. Professor Goto holds a Master in Horticulture from Chiba University Japan as well as a Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard.
The rest of the day will be spent on designing and constructing water features for a Japanese style garden. Presenter is Jim Lampi, a design-build landscaper specializing in the creation of ponds, waterfalls and naturalist landscapes.
Topics to be covered include: design considerations plus influences and inspirations for design. Also covered will be construction methods; comparing concrete, liner, hybrid concrete with liner; filtration; drainage; rock edging and plant edging; rocks and boulders: selection, acquisition, and placement using machine or sling.
Friday evening will offer guided tours of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, refreshments and a presentation by Dr. Frank Chance, director of the Center for East Asian Studies at University of Pennsylvania.
Saturday’s events concentrate on koi: their origins, variety, and selection plus discussions of water conditions and creating a healthy environment. Also covered will be koi anatomy, reproduction, health and how to recognize illness, methods of treatment, feeding and seasonal considerations.
Joseph S. Zuritsky, owner of Quality Koi at Carney’s Point, NJ, with 40 years experience and numerous awards, will lead a tour of Nisei Koi Farm and deliver presentations on the above topics.
To make reservations, contact NAJGA by e-mail to KYanagi@NAJGA.ORG or telephone (503) 222-1194. You may also click on the link below to print out a registration form for for information, fees, hotel registration and mailing information.
If you wish to learn more about Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, visit their web site:
or find them on FaceBook.
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.
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).
For more information on Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America and other books available from Tuttle Publishing, please consult the web site
For more information on the North American Japanese Garden Association, please consult the web site:
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.
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.
“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.
The servers were attentive, but not overbearing, leaving us to enjoy our conversation and the surroundings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To see a full size version of any photograph in this blog, just click on the image.
“The Japanese have taken their love of growing things and their realization of man’s union with nature and refined them in the beauty of their gardens. The purpose of a Japanese garden is to present natural forms and to create a tranquil beauty that leads the visitor from everyday life to a calm, serene, reflective communion with nature.”
Sansho-en at Chicago Botanic Garden is a 17.3 acre promenade style garden or kaiyu-shiki, a garden style developed during the 17th century. Sansho-en means “The Garden of the Three Islands” – Keiunto, Seifuto and Horajima – visible in a diagram of the garden. The experience in a stroll garden is to see the garden while walking. Different views appear on the journey along a winding path.
“A walk through Sansho-en reveals a collection of smaller gardens and classic elements from several historical Japanese garden styles,” said one garden brochure. “In Sansho-en you can experience contemplative dry gardens, an intimate moss garden, cool woodland gardens and a distant paradise garden, all in one visit.”
Dr. Koichi Kawana (1930-1990) designed more than a dozen major Japanese gardens in the United States, including Seiwa-en at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Shofu-en at the Denver Botanic Gardens. In addition, he was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he lectured on Japanese art, landscape design and architecture. Dedicated in 1982, Sansho-en celebrated its 30th birthday the day we visited in June.
Sansho-en also is called the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden. An endowment was created for the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden through a gift from the Malott Family Foundation in 2006, when the garden was re-dedicated. Income from the endowment will provide funds to maintain the Japanese Garden and provide programs that teach visitors about Japanese culture and history.
Mary Plunkett is manager of Interpretive Programs at Chicago Botanic Garden and oversees seven gardens. There are nearly 200 interpretive volunteer positions throughout Chicago Botanic, 20 in the Japanese garden.
Plunkett came to Chicago Botanic Garden 11 years ago with a background in volunteer management. “Nobody comes here to give poor information. Everyone comes with a good heart and desire to be helpful to our curious visitors, so my job is to encourage and inform them,” Plunkett said. “A volunteer generally is here two times a month. If you want a good volunteer program you have to have staff to support them. We are so lucky to have that support.”
“Our volunteers are here Wednesday through Sunday through the first weekend in October. We track nearly 35,000 visitor encounters during a season,” Plunkett said.
Volunteers have an extensive document of information, history, tool identification and frequently asked questions for training and reference. A board to which various tools are attached aids in explaining their uses.
“Volunteers can be a driving force in the garden,” said senior horticulturist Benjamin Carroll. “They have such enthusiasm. It’s really important for us to recognize their work and express gratitude regularly.”
Edie Rowell is in her fifth season as a garden volunteer. She spends one day a week in the Malott Japanese Garden and one day “digging in the fruit and vegetable garden.”
“Visitors do not go inside the Shoin House. We speak to them from the engawa, explain the construction, tools, type of garden and so forth,” Rowell said. “This is not a tea house. Tea houses are usually smaller – four and a half to six tatami size. This is a 23 tatami house. Shoin rooms started out as the study of Buddhist monks. The style morphed into the Camp David of its day – a man cave for a very high ranking man, a retreat house for a daimyo where one’s equilibrium could be restored.”
The senior horticulturist at Chicago Botanic Garden, Benjamin Carroll obtained his B.S. in horticulture, Writtle College in Essex, England. Carroll was employed for two years at Cambridge University Botanic Garden before joining the Chicago Botanic Garden staff. He is a director-at-large for the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA).
Chicago Botanic Garden’s facilities are truly delightful. The Visitor Center adjacent to the parking area offers an extensive and well stocked gift shop on the right, an abundant café on the left, an information desk and “Ask A Master Gardener” service. Educational classes, children’s programs, seasonal displays, and membership benefits are a few of the many offerings.
Chicago Botanic Garden offers 25 gardens on 385 acres. Roughly 60 acres are covered by water. There is no admission charge for Chicago Botanic Garden. There is a fee for parking. To plan your visit, check out the web site for hours, directions, parking fee, transportation, what’s in bloom, etc.
To see a 7 ½ minute video in Malott Garden uploaded by Benjamin Carroll to You Tube in 2009, visit:
For other planting tips from Benjamin Carroll, check out the following short stories:
Benjamin Carroll planting bulbs
WGN-TV interview on houseplants during the winter
Hope for healing the planet
Photos not otherwise credited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any photo to see a full size image.
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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
An artful garden sits amid four buildings, the headquarters of The Westervelt Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Formerly known as Gulf States Paper Company, the company’s recently retired president Jack Warner served in Burma during World War II. His time there and his frequent travels to Japan informed the design of the corporate headquarters and garden.
The buildings also house the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art, home of the Westervelt Collection, an extensive collection of paintings, furnishings and sculpture from around the world.
Garden construction began with construction of the office building in 1969 and both were completed in 1972. We were told that Mr. Warner closely directed landscape architect David Engel to achieve his vision — a garden in which quietude brings a sense of the oneness of all: heaven, earth and man. “We begin to feel our relationships to all the universe, where everything is forever changing in form, ever renewing,” according to an old brochure provided by the company.
The entire pond was recently drained and leaks repaired. Koi have not been reintroduced to the pond. Several small goldfish were visible on this visit.
Arrangements to visit the garden and the art collection must be made with the company.