Posts Tagged With: John Powell

New Japanese garden surrounds Dallas high rise

A modern take on the Japanese stroll garden is forming around the plaza level of the Trammell Crow Center in the art district of Dallas. Designed to expand the footprint of the Crow Collection of Asian Art, a free museum across the street from the Nasher Sculpture Center, this garden shows a different aspect around each side of the building. One side of the building features a stone arrangement, another a dry riverbed, another a shady grove or bamboo thicket, yet another a karesansui or flat landscape traditionally with raked gravel.

The plaza where we entered the garden.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“I have always considered the Crow Collection a museum without walls. In Asia, art and the environment coexist naturally. This garden will be a place for Dallas Arts District visitors to find art and Asia in unexpected places,” said Trammell Crow, president of the Crow Family Foundation. “I am grateful to our partners at Crescent (Real Estate Holdings) for giving us the perfect canvas for expansion.”

plaza view to the right of where we entered
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

The Dallas Arts District web site notes, “The Trammell Crow Center was deigned by Skidmore Owings & Merrill partner Richard Keating in 1984. Corporate offices are located on the upper levels of the building, and retail on the ground floor and mezzanine level.

dry riverbed makes the turn and continues toward the plaza
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“In 1997, the Crow Family Foundation made the decision to share with the community one of the most important collections of Asian Art in the United States. A 12,000-square-foot space adjacent to the Trammell Crow Center was renovated, creating four light-filled galleries that evoke traditional aspects of Asian architecture in a museum without walls.”

bell tower awaits the installation of a bell
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Planning for the new garden began by 2009, the year John Powell made a presentation on the design to the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden spring meeting. Extensive installation work began in 2011. The new sculpture garden is slated to open later this year. When we visited in June, the sculpture had yet to be placed.

a base awaits sculpture from the Crow Collection of Asian Art
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

We parked beneath the office building — nearly empty on a Saturday morning — and took an elevator to the lobby level where security directed us to the garden and gallery beyond.

a suggestion of karesansui with a yotsume-gaki style bamboo fence and clipped shrubs

It was a Frisbee competition that first took garden designer John Powell to Japan in 1993 and he fell in love with the gardens. He launched an intensive study of Japanese garden design, construction and maintenance and in 1997, he attended the first Japanese garden seminar provided by the Japanese Garden Research Center at the Kyoto University of Art Design. This was followed by internships with Suzuki Zoen in Niigata, and at the Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane Prefecture. He was the first westerner to train as a gardener at Adachi.

Powell has become a respected part of the Adachi garden family and in 2006 spoke in Austin at the Taniguchi Garden Revitalization committee on Gardens of the Adachi Museum. This was part of a speaking tour with Wataru Takeda, Section Chief of the Business and Public Relations Department at the Adachi Museum of Art and, for the California presentations, Kiyoharu Mori, Deputy Director of the Adachi Museum of Art. The presentation also was given at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego at Balboa Park, The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and Merritt College in Oakland.

hide and reveal — a passageway leads to a pond and a shady grove

grove of maples on the building side and a bamboo thicket on the street side

To learn more about The Adachi Museum of Art, visit their web site:

a secluded pond
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Powell is in demand as a workshop presenter and speaker for organizations such as the 6th International Symposium of Japanese Gardens in San Diego, the International Conference on Japanese Gardens Outside Japan in Long Beach and the Maple Society North America Branch.

Equisetum hymenale artfully disguises a utility area
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Powell and his wife Becky are partners with David and Pat Bergman in Weatherford Gardens Nursery and Landscaping, an organic nursery and garden store located at 2106 Fort Worth Highway in Weatherford, Texas, featured in a previous blog entry.

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The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas.  The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia.  The museum offers a serene setting for both quiet reflection and learning.

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Admission is free. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is open Tuesdays – Thursdays (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.), Fridays – Sundays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), and closed on Mondays. For more information, please go to or call 214-979-6430.

For further information or a look at aerial photographs of the office building, visit the web site:

stone arrangement near the bell tower

The Crow Collection’s European sculpture pieces formerly displayed in this area were re-located to the Old Parkland campus.

Unless otherwise credited, photos in this blog are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any image to see it full size.

Categories: Dallas, Texas | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Plant and design resources in the Fort Worth area

For years as a subscriber to Journal of Japanese Gardening, John Powell’s name was familiar to me through his articles. The quality publication is now known as Sukiya Living.

In 2009, Powell was a speaker at the International Conference on Japanese Gardens Outside Japan sharing the stage with landscape architect Ron Herman and garden artist David Slawson. Their panel was titled “Bringing it all together: maintenance, growth & design.” His presence on the agenda was one of the reasons I chose to attend that formative conference in Long Beach.

John Powell and David Slawson talk shop at the 6th International Symposium of Japanese Gardens hosted by the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego in October of 2010. This conference is held once every two years, sponsored by The Garden Society of Japan and The International Association of Japanese Gardens Inc. The 2012 conference will be held in Australia.

We saw each other again in San Diego in 2010. Every time we had a chance to chat, he invited me to visit the next time I was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Powell is a Japanese style garden builder and pruning specialist from Weatherford, Texas. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Forestry. Currently he is the co-owner of Weatherford Gardens Nursery and Landscaping, located at 2106 Fort Worth Highway in Weatherford west of Fort Worth.

a sampling of products carried in the store
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

As noted on the nursery’s Facebook page: “In 1997, David & Pat Bergman, and John & Becky Powell purchased Mann Nursery. We re-named it Weatherford Gardens, and have been here ever since. We ditched all the chemicals and went organic in 1999, and it has been our real pleasure to sell only quality plants and organic materials to our gardening enthusiasts all over North Texas.”

a small section of the seed shelves where I did my shopping
(photo by Bill Eger)

Information sheets on soil types, deer resistant plants, drought tolerant plants, etc. line one bookshelf while new products such as woolen pockets for green walls are featured in the larger room.

“We do a lot of residential landscaping, and our landscape designer John Powell specializes in Japanese garden design. He has studied in Japan, and garden building is his passion.”

rock arrangement and plantings between the parking lot and the store

a sample waterfall to one side of the nursery
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“Whether we install it or you do it yourself, our highly efficient and knowledgeable nursery and landscaping staff work to provide the best plants for your installations, and the highest professionalism and insight in any troubleshooting along the way,” the information page on Facebook concluded.

There was a nice sale going on the day we were there. Too bad these won’t fit in the backpack!
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

beautiful maple foliage and seeds
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

To learn more about Weatherford Gardens Nursery, visit them on Facebook or at their store and nursery 2106 Fort Worth Highway, Weatherford TX 76086 or phone (817) 341-0152.

To learn more about the 7th International Symposium on Japanese Gardens: Japanese Gardens in the 21st Century to be held in Sydney Australia September 1-3, 2012, contact Imperial Gardens Landscape, PO Box 200 Terrey Hills, NSW 2084

web address:

and e-mail:

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

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