Posts Tagged With: Japanese garden

Paris in the Fall several years ago

In the fall of 2014, I was fortunate to have our son and daughter-in-law as traveling companions for a trip to Paris. Being unfamiliar with the City of Light, for the first day we hired a car and driver: specifically Roland and his vintage Citroen. We booked this adventure through 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie

our driver and his Citroen
Ronald and K.T. discussed the list of Japanese gardens in Paris and a selection was made of what could be done plus he added a few
Bateau le Calife, an amazing dinner and journey on the Seine our first night in Paris. This is the type of barge on which our driver Roland grew up and still lives with his family.
Noguchi garden at UNESCO
This was among the gardens we determined would fit in our morning schedule. It is highly recommended that you make advance reservations to see Noguchi’s garden at UNESCO. We were fortunate to have a school group accept us into their tour. Mark Treib wrote extensively in “Isamu Noguchi in Paris” about the UNESCO garden. The garden was commissioned in 1957 and occupies 1700 square meters of land at the foot of the building. His Fountain of Peace completes the installation.
Fountain of Peace at the Noguchi garden, UNESCO building, Paris
Musee Guimet features a tea house and garden behind the well-appointed museum building.
Inside the museum looking out at the tea garden
Roland dropped us off and we joined a walking tour of chocolate makers and bakeries.
Truly a memorable day

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Catching up on gardens visited some time ago but not yet posted: in late summer-early fall of 2014, two family members joined me for a trip to Paris and Giverny.

Chez Marie et Gilbert Therin B&B in 2014 … such a sweet older couple who picked us up at the train station and brought us to this lovely bedroom under the main house … their practice at the time was to focus on one set of visitors at a time … room slept two in 2014
we had a light lunch at Ancien Hôtel Baudy then walked the grounds to see this studio where friends of Monet would gather to paint
a short walk down the street brought us to the Monet Museum prior to our visit to the gardens
haystacks was recreated in the field adjacent to the museum
and at last to a long awaited visit to the gardens of Claude Monet — access to the Japanese style water garden is down through a tunnel
the tunnel’s colors match the home and garden
blooms everywhere – not the same as near the house as there is more greenery along the strolling paths in the water garden
couldn’t help but note the bamboo is contained by a canal
a slightly different view of the famous bridge
what a wonderful creation — a garden designed for painting
we stayed overnight to allow for an early morning stroll
and a visit to the church cemetery where the Monet family is buried; also the gravesite of Gerald Van Der Kemp, curator of Versailles for 35 years and mastermind of the restoration of Versailles … he also saved the Mona Lisa from Nazi destruction during WWII
train from Paris to and from Vernon (Giverny), Gare St. Lazare
happy memories of our trip to Vernon and Giverny

Here is a link to Monet’s home and gardens should you choose to plan a visit:

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Enjoy gardens (from a distance) during stay-home order

Stay Home orders have been issued by several states in addition to the closure of even more public places such as museums and public parks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

During “stay home” orders, several public gardens have devised ways to allow the public inside through postings on social media, video tours, and online classes.

The North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) encourages support of one’s local garden during and after this public health crisis. In addition, NAJGA prepared a list of resources and links to a few children’s activities, which follows.

Enjoy Japanese Gardens from Home

As most gardens have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we encourage you to support and follow your favorite gardens online- and explore new ones.

We have created this resource page for virtual tours, books, videos, websites and other content you may enjoy. If you would like to contribute content, please email We’d love the opportunity to share your garden through our network.

Please check back periodically as we will update this page regularly.

We hope you will continue to enjoy the beauty and calm of Japanese gardens from home.

Facebook Live Streams
RoHoEn– Daily at 10am MST

Virtual Visits/Tours:
1. Montreal Botanical Garden
2. Portland Japanese Garden
3. Japanese Tea Garden 
4. Missouri Botanical Garden 
5. Virtual Tours of Japan’s Gardens by Professor Clifton Olds 
6. Better Homes & Gardens: Virtual Stroll of US Botanical Gardens
7. 7 Places to See Japanese Gardens in the U.S. (featuring many member gardens)

Instagram Pages with Photos of Japanese Gardens:
Craig Westland’s Rockford Tai Chi & Tai Chi for Gardeners 

1. Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design by Marc Keane
2. Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens by David A. Slawson
3. The Art of the Japanese Garden by David and Michiko Young
4. Professor Clifton Olds Bibliography– A great list of resources!

5. The Kyoto Journal also has a wealth of information including this article on the art of stone setting.

1. Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden

1. Japanese Gardening Organization
2. Japanese Gardening Society of the UK

Home Gardening Links:
1. 10 Ways to Garden During Self-Isolation
2. Cultivate Something Good- Your Garden and Your Well-Being
3. Victory Garden 2.0- Ten Steps for Planning Your Own
4. Kids Gardening Made Easy

NAJGA logo

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Coming soon: hands-on learning in Arizona

Promoting the Art, Craft and Heart of Japanese gardens in the USA and Canada.


at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Register for NAJGA’s next Regional workshop and enjoy Phoenix in the winter! With average temperatures in the 70’s, Phoenix is an ideal place to spend President’s Day weekend. Our two-day Regional (February 14 & 15), hosted by the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, Ro Ho En, will feature hands-on learning as well as the opportunity to learn about several traditional Japanese arts. Learn to build a stepping stone path, a sleeve fence and water basin, plant pines and place stones. The program will also include ikebana, tea ceremony, and taiko demonstrations. Lunch is included on both days and will be served in the Garden. Saturday dinner in the Garden and a Sunday tour of Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden and Taliesin West at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will be offered as optional add-ons.

Register today at

Phoenix, Arizona’s Japanese Friendship Garden has strengthened ties with their Sister City Himeji. Adjacent to the famous Himeji castle is Koko-en, a collection of nine gardens built in 1992 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the municipality. The walled gardens cover approximately 8.65 acres. Koko-en was designed by Professor Makoto Nakamura of Kyoto University. The garden was built by Hanatoyo Landscape of Kyoto.

Ro Ho En was a cooperative effort between Himeji and Phoenix.

1987: Delegation from Himeji, Japan proposed that a Japanese Friendship Garden be constructed in the Central City.

1990: City of Himeji Landscape Architects visited Phoenix to present the design for the Japanese Friendship Garden.

2000: Completion of construction of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

2002: Garden opened to Public.

[information from the Ro Ho En web site ]


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Hillwood – Marjorie Merriweather Post’s estate in Washington DC

well-appointed gift shop at Hillwood

Purchased by Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1955, following divorce from her third husband, Hillwood is located at 4155 Linnean Avenue in NW Washington, D.C. During her lifetime, Hillwood became a place to showcase her collections, particularly Russian imperial art, and became a legendary social venue.

Marjorie Merriweather Post’s collection of shoes

Surrounding the Georgian mansion are several gardens: a cutting garden, a four seasons garden, a putting green, French parterre, lunar lawn, and a Japanese-style garden.

Hillwood in 2013, one of the few gardens open during a government shut-down

“She hired prominent landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel to expand the existing gardens,” the web site notes. “Thirteen acres of formal gardens extend from the house’s terraces and porches in a progression of outdoor rooms.” (from the Hillwood web site)

“Designed by Shogo Myaida and clearly reflecting Marjorie Post’s love of collecting decorative objects, this non-traditional Japanese garden offers action and intrigue instead of opportunities for contemplative meditation found in other Japanese gardens. ”

Marjorie Merriweather Post shows students the Japanese style garden in 1963 (Hillwood collection)

restored wooden bridge

“Myaida began his career working in an architectural firm in New York and soon began to build a network of influential people who were able to help him to find bigger and better jobs. A friend at the New York Botanical Garden helped him to get a job rehabilitating the grounds of a girls college in Georgia. Later, he went to Florida and worked for several well known architects in Palm Beach, where he first met Marjorie Merriweather Post, the cereal heiress, whose magnificent homes in Palm Beach and Washington D.C. were legendary. Myaida went back to Long Island in 1926 where he worked for a large landscape contractor, creating and improving many private gardens.

“During the Great Depression he scraped by, gardening and, in the winter, selling manure for mulch and sharing rent and food with fellow workers. “For many days,” he remembered, “we had rice and a big iron pot full of split pea soup on a big old coal stove in the kitchen.”

“In 1938, recovered from the depression years, he supervised the landscape design for the New York World’s Fair Japanese Garden and was in charge of its maintenance during the run of the fair. He married his young American secretary and bookkeeper in 1941, “and shortly after Japanese started to fight with America. We had quite a time. The FBI came over and check all my house and everything I had and they said that as long as I stayed in Albertson (New York) I do not need to go to Ellis Island.” He found jobs working in greenhouses during the war, and “then when the war was over, and get freer so I started designing gardens all around again.

“In 1952, Myaida read in a newspaper that Japanese-born people could become American citizens, and he applied for and received American citizenship. Shortly afterward Mrs. Post’s landscape architect contacted him about doing a Japanese garden at Hillwood, Mrs. Post’s 25 acre estate in Washington D.C. Myaida modestly remembered that the garden was “quite good,” and then added, “supposed to be one of the best on the East Coast.” Today the estate is a museum and garden, open to the public, and Myaida’s beautiful garden is in the process of restoration.”

*Much of information in this article, and all of the direct quotes, are from the transcript of an interview conducted with Shogo Myaida on July 10, 1988 by Dorothy Rony, New York Chinatown History Project; Lorie Kitazano, Queens college, Asian History Studies; and Lily Y. Kiyasu, Garden City, New York.

(from “A Trunk Full of Stories” by the Japanese American National Museum)

Shogo Myaida papers are housed in the collection of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Ann Stevens photo from Hillwood: during restoration, all the stones were carefully mapped using GPS and marked before being removed

gate at the lower end of the restored garden

For more information, go to the estate web site or phone 202.686.5807.

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Maymont in Richmond, Virginia

Continuing tales of travel to Japanese-style gardens outside of Japan.

Maymont House in Richmond Virginia, an American country estate of the Gilded Age

Down path, through a gate and into a century-old Japanese garden.

minimal signage with maximum information

waterfall cascades from Italian garden up top into the shaded paths through the Japanese garden below

Bill at work

water crossing path and koi

gift azumaia for the centennial

centennial gift iris patch is weeded by volunteers

old concrete paths were replaced with gravel — the concrete rubble was used to create a more rolling landscape in one section

For more information, visit the Maymont web site.


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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

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Entry deadline nears for Waza To Kokoro in Portland

Application Deadline: April 15

“The course was brilliant. I met some amazing people and learnt a lot, and it will leave a lasting impact on what I do in the future. I will be recommending it.”

–Jake Davies-Robertson, gardener, Kew Gardens

April 15 is the application deadline for the intermediate-level Waza to Kokoro: Hands and Heart seminar in Japanese garden arts. This unparalleled experience in hands-on landscape education has proven a transformative professional experience for gardeners, landscape architects, horticulturalists, stone masons and designers from five countries.   

The seminar, now in its fourth year, presents training in stone setting, bamboo fence construction, design, history, aesthetics, and other topics — all integrated into a holistic learning experience framed in the culture of tea.  The course takes place at Portland Japanese Garden and offsite venues, with faculty from Garden staff as well as visiting instructors from Japan. 

Explore images and stories from previous seminars in this Landscape Architecture Magazine article.

The intermediate level seminar takes place September 16 – 27, 2019.  The application deadline is April 15.

Questions? Contact us at

Learn More about the Seminars
Learn More
Watch Video
Contact the Center



Visit the Portland Japanese Garden
(503) 223-1321

Copyright © 2019 Portland Japanese Garden, All rights reserved.
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s centennial Japanese Garden

Brooklyn 2-003

a viewing platform with cherry tree along the path to the main entry gate

photo 5-004

photo 2-004

informational sign at main entry gate

photo 3-005

second sign at main entry gate

photo 4-004

window in the main viewing deck

photo 3-006

strolling path around the pond

photo 2-006

resting shelter along the path

photo 3-004

torii in the pond

photo 3-007

looking across the pond to viewing shelter

photo 4-003

stone lantern

photo 5-1

photo 4-005

pond and heron

photo 4-006

back gate


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New Priority Mail stamp a first for Hilo

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.


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

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.”

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

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

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.

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