Posts Tagged With: Japanese garden

Pond Construction Workshop in Philadelphia

Shofuso koi

koi so happy they are snorting for joy — well, snorting for food, anyway!

ShofusoPond2

During pond reconstruction last year, stones designed to be a boat landing were discovered. The original plans for the garden — made in the mid-1950s — were carried out in the renovation and now provide a koi feeding station at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

[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.

Click to access Philadelphia%20Workshop%20Information%20and%20Registration%20Form%20%281%29.pdf

If you wish to learn more about Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, visit their web site:

http://www.shofuso.com/

or find them on FaceBook.

new hornbeam hedge

A new hornbeam hedge separates the entry paths at Shofuso and guides visitors to the tour booth.

Francis Weng discusses pond biology and maintenance. (photo by Bill F. Eger)

Francis Weng discusses pond biology and maintenance.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

JimLampl-2-Shofuso

Jim Lampl

Jim Lampl discusses pond construction.
(photo by Bill Eger)

Jizo

Tucked away in the bamboo just uphill from a koi feeding station at the pond

Dr. Goto

Dr. Seiko Goto discusses the history of water in Japanese gardens at the NAJGA regional conference in Philadelphia.
(photo by Bill Eger)

class photo

The class photo of garden folk who attended the NAJGA regional conference in Philadelphia.
(photo by Bill Eger)

Categories: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | 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

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

Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe: where East meets Midwest

“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.”

Koichi Kawana

color and texture

shades of green and varieties of texture
(photo by Bill F.Eger)

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.

map of three islands

map of the three islands of Sansho-en courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden

“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.”

karesansui

contemplative karesansui (dry landscape)
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

intimate moss garden

intimate moss garden by the Shoin House
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

a cool woodland

a cool woodland with azalea hillside
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

a distant paradise island

distant paradise island seen from the entry bridge
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

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.

Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden dedication plaque

dedication plaque for Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden reads: “Her childhood years in the Orient fostered a lifelong respect for and love of Japanese culture and landscape.”
(dedication 2006; this image 2011)

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 travels by cart.

Mary Plunkett travels by maintenance cart between gardens on a busy day.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

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.

display of carpentry tools and karesansui rake

tools display: carpentry tools on the board and karesansui rake leaning against the board at a NAJGA regional meeting in 2011

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.

tool board detail

detail of tool board

tool board detail

descriptive text for the sumitsubo (ink pot)

“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 at Shoin House

Edie Rowell prepares to open Shoin House
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

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.”

volunteer on the engawa of Shoin House

a volunteer encounter with visitors to Shoin House
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Benjamin Carroll in the tool shed

Benjamin Carroll demonstrates placement of a peg to which twine is attached to shape trees.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

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).

gift shop at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden gift shop in the Visitor Center
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

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.

http://www.chicagobotanic.org/visit/

To see a 7 ½ minute video in Malott Garden uploaded by Benjamin Carroll to You Tube in 2009, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQtay6II840

one example of the bonsai collection

Near the Regenstein Center, a bonsai collection is displayed in outdoor courtyards.

bonsai courtyard on a sunny day

CBG cafe

in the cafeteria, a sign in a table arrangement of potted herbs reminds one of various ways to contribute to the Chicago Botanic Garden

For other planting tips from Benjamin Carroll, check out the following short stories:

Benjamin Carroll planting bulbs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_6g7BtY06I

WGN-TV interview on houseplants during the winter

http://www.wgntv.com/videogallery/66815502/News/Benjamin-Carroll-from-the-Chicago-Botanic-Garden-answers-your-questions

Hope for healing the planet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcUoX5kAcbU

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

bridge with seasonal floral display

the entry bridge between the Visitor Center and the Crescent Garden in fall

bridge with seasonal floral display

the bridge between the Visitor Center and the Crescent Garden bedecked with summer blooms

Categories: Glencoe, Illinois | 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

The Westervelt Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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.

All four buildings are connected by exterior walkways offering varying views of the central garden, inspired by gardens at Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan.

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.

A company brochure describes this bridge saying: “One legend says that the traditional zig-zag bridge was first built this way so that people on foot could escape their enemies on horseback. Another more practical reason is so the visitor can view the garden from different angles.”

closer view of the waterfall

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.

Update: The Tuscaloosa Museum of Art, featuring the Westervelt Collection, will be permanently closing effective Friday, August 31, 2018. Thank you for your support and patronage of the Museum.

Categories: Alabama, Tuscaloosa | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Birmingham Botanical Garden

Stone arrangements in Long Life Lake were done by Masaji Morai. A grove of  black bamboo is visible to the left of the bridge. To the right of the bridge is a large lantern, a gift from Hitachi in 1985

From the web site of the Birmingham Botanical Garden:

“Officially opened by the Japanese Ambassador to the United States in 1967, this 7.5-acre site is actually an interwoven collection of gardens built in the Japanese style, replete with traditional architectural and garden elements. Here you can find the tea garden, the karesansui garden with its meditative compositions of boulders set amidst a bed of raked gravel, the hill and stream garden* with features such as the Seven Virtues Waterfall, and the small stroll garden set around Long Life Lake. Casual visitors will want to study the colorful koi, relax in the lakeside rest shelter, or take a class at the cultural pavilion. Plant lovers will enjoy exploring bamboo groves, examining our growing collection of momiji – the Japanese maples – and seeing prehistoric dawn redwoods.

“Designed by Mr. Masaji “Buffy” Morai, the Japanese Gardens officially opened in 1967 and have been one of BBG’s most popular features since then. Largely through the hard work and guidance of volunteer Doug Moore, major modifications to a large part of the gardens were finalized in 1993 when the Japanese government gave it the title of Japanese Cultural Center. That important designation was made because Mr. Kazunori Tago, of Maibashi, Japan, one of the finest miyadaiku, or Japanese temple and shrine builders, created a traditional tea house here. Toshinan, whose name means, “the house where those gathered can light a wick [of understanding] in each others’ hearts”, is a 16th-century Sukiya-style tea house, made completely from materials brought from Japan and built using only traditional tools and techniques. There are fewer than a dozen such structures in the United States, and none are finer than Toshinan. An adjacent yoritsuki, or waiting hut, was also designed and built by Tago-san, completing the tea garden structures. Materials were donated by the citizens of Maibashi and additional funding was provided by the Shades Valley Council of Garden Clubs and Gardens of Inverness; the yoritsuki was dedicated in honor of Eva Woodin Gambrell. Members of the Japanese Garden Society of Alabama assist with maintenance of the tea house and in cultural and educational programming.

“The Japanese Gardens are entered through a spectacular curved-top torii, or “gate to heaven”, painted a traditional bright red. This area was renovated and the master plan updated in 1988 through funds given by the Drummond Company in memory of Elza Stewart Drummond. Down the path from the torii, a tile-capped mud wall is punctuated by the entrance to the Cultural Center: the Taylor Gate, given by Dr. Wendell Taylor, with its heavy, yet intricately joined, wooden timbers. Across the stream from the tea house sits the Japanese Cultural Pavilion, which is based on the design of a rural Japanese theater. Three sides of the pavilion are removable, facilitating seasonal open air activities like classes such as sushi-making, performances such as martial arts demonstrations, and many other aspects of Japanese culture.

“A recent update of the master plan for the Japanese Gardens was completed by Zen Associates of Sudbury, Massachusetts. The firm’s principal landscape architects, Shinichiro Abe and Peter White, have an intimate knowledge of Japanese garden design and construction, and as their company’s name suggests, it is their sole specialty.”

The new View Receiving bridge designed by Zen Associates will accommodate maintenance vehicles and is barrier free. It spans the water course, dry for several years, which is on the list for repair. The bridge marks a transition from a more tightly planted area to more open plantings.

New beds of azalea are being installed as part of that master plan. Renovations and repairs are planned throughout with perhaps the largest efforts being restoration of the watercourse and the addition of an ampitheatre behind the cultural center. New maples are being added and a walkway through the bamboo thicket is planned.

Pink hydrangea were in bloom beyond the View Receiving bridge.

The Birmingham Botanical Garden comprises 67.5 acres, 7.5 of which are the Japanese garden. The BBG is owned by the city which has an agreement with the Friends. The City handles outside reservations such as weddings. The Friends organization handles education, fundraising, capital improvements, and special events. BBG has the nation’s largest public horticulture library. The garden is open free to the public all year long.

For more on the Birmingham Botanical Garden, visit their web site:

http://www.bbgardens.org

New varieties of maple are going in on the far side of the lake.

Many thanks to Fred Spicer Jr. for the “grand tour” via golf cart and for the wealth of information shared.

When you visit this garden, be sure to stop in Leaf and Petal, the shop at the entry, for a wide variety of art, crafts, garden items and plants. There’s always news about garden tours and classes available there and on the web site.

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The Carter Center and The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Located about two miles from downtown Atlanta are The Carter Center: Advancing Human Rights and Alleviating Suffering and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, two separate entities on Freedom Parkway. At the heart of these buildings is a large garden, part of which is a Japanese garden designed by Kinsaku Nakane and donated by the YKK Corporation. The garden contains many species of azalea, rhododendron, Japanese maple. river birch, camellia, golden raintree and barberry. The garden is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, although access through the library building must wait until opening hours.

This vantage point is at the farthest edge of the large, lower pond looking back toward Kinsaku Nakane’s waterfalls. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum building is visible at the upper right.

The larger waterfall visible behind the lantern is dedicated to former President Jimmy Carter and the smaller to his wife Rosalyn, according to a garden brochure.

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Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Japanese garden now incorporated in the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden predates ABG by many years. It is the oldest part of ABG. A small sign inside the entry path notes the Japanese garden is undergoing renovation.

The Japanese Garden Research Network notes that pruned pines in this garden are Virginia pines, Pinus virginian. Maple, azalea, bamboo, and iris are among many plants inside and adjacent to this small walled garden.

The July 2011 issue of Southern Living contained an article on the entire ABG and 2010 expansion that doubled its area to the present size. http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-east/what-to-do-at-atlanta-botanical-garden-00417000074415/

Moon gate just outside the Japanese garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden with a pruned pine to the right of this photo. A small lantern tucked into the greenery at the beginning of this path is featured later in this post.

 

Perpendicular to and beyond the Moon Gate to its right is another entry. This view shows two of the three walls (at the right) enclosing the garden.

Inside the walls, a waterfall and stream course by blooming iris and clipped azalea then pass under a small curved stone bridge.

Some of the recently completed renovations…

a small lantern tucked in to the greenery near the entry path leading to the Moon Gate

maple near the machiai

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