Posts Tagged With: NAJGA

October conference postponed until next year

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

2020 Conference Postponed

Dear NAJGA Community, 

This year’s conference was going to focus on adaptability and resilience. These themes couldn’t be more appropriate during our uncertain times. In the challenges of the current situation, each of us as well as our affiliated organizations have adapted to discover the resilience needed to sustain our missions.

Given the circumstances, our Planning Committee has made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s conference. The conference will be rescheduled to take place in the fall of 2021.

In lieu of this October’s conference, and to put adaptability and resilience into action, we would like to organize a series of live and recorded webinars (lectures, demonstrations, etc.) on various topics. We plan to begin these webinars in the summer of this year.

Our first webinars will focus on Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens’ Stroll for Well-Being program on June 17th and June 24th. We will send a call for additional proposals within the next month, but if you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to share them with us.

We wish you health and happiness in the coming months.
Warm regards,

Marisa Rodriguez
NAJGA Manager

*The photo above is of the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego.

Article re-posted from North American Japanese Garden Association news. For further information, see the NAJGA web site NAJGA

Categories: California, San Diego | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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

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Categories: Canada, Hawaii, Hilo, Missouri, Oregon, Portland, St. Louis | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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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Training Opportunity in San Francisco

The North American Japanese Garden Association will hold a spring regional event at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco in April.

“The Past Becomes Present: A Design Workshop” will be held Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6. Advance registration is necessary.

Please go to the NAJGA web site for more information and to register.

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Philadelphia Japanese garden offers learning opportunities

One way to learn about the elements of Japanese gardens is to attend regional events or biennial conferences sponsored by the North American Japanese Garden Association.

Such events combine workshops with local experts and tours of nearby gardens for a full experience.

I’m still catching up on many gardens visited and not yet posted. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was host to this regional event in 2013 concentrating on water features.

Francis Weng discussed the chemistry of ponds
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

Jim Lampl discusses waterfall construction during the NAJGA regional conference on ponds at Shofuso in Philadelphia (photo by Bill F. Eger)

Kimberly Andrews, past president of NAJGA and director of Shofuso, welcomes the regional conference attendees to Philadelphia (photo by Bill F. Eger)

Dr. Seiko Goto discusses repairs to the pond at Byodo-In that restored the suhama, a smooth stone beach extending into the pond. (photo by Bill F. Eger)

a class photo from the NAJGA regional conference in Philadelphia 2013

entry to Shofuso with a new (in 2013) hornbean hedge to direct traffic (photo by Bill F. Eger)

detail on a gift rock from China (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

Shofuso, the side facing the pond (photo by Bill F. Eger)

the pond, repaired after flood waters about six years ago (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

a boat dock stone is used as a place to stand and feed the fish (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

koi in the pond at Shofuso (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

a serene guardian tucked into a bamboo hedge at Shofuso (photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger)

To learn more about Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, please refer to

To learn more about the North American Japanese Garden Association, membership, journal, conferences and events, please refer to


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NAJGA Regional event in Michigan

The North American Japanese Garden Association has five spaces left for registration in this month’s regional event in Michigan.

From the NAJGA newsletter:

“Join us in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan on May 17th, 18th and 19th for fascinating lectures and tours of several beautiful gardens that you wouldn’t want to miss!

“This event brings together garden professionals and hobbyists to explore the challenges and benefits of Japanese gardens in the Midwest using six case studies. Hosted by the famous Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research on one of America’s great estates, the workshop opens on Thursday night and Friday morning with lectures on Cranbrook’s historic 1915 Japanese garden and its renovation plan, then continues Friday afternoon at the house and garden of Charles Lang Freer, America’s first great collector of Japanese art. Friday concludes with a reception at Minoru Yamasaki’s spectacular— and recently restored—modernist water and stone garden at Wayne State University.

“On Saturday a full-day coach tour visits the Muedler Japanese Garden at Michigan State University, the Shigematsu Memorial Garden at Lansing Community College then the 8-acre DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. At each location, specialists in charge of maintaining, restoring or managing the garden will share their insights.”

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North American Japanese Garden Association plans regional conferences in 2017

Descanso Gardens in Flintridge near Los Angeles will host the North American Japanese Garden Association regional conference in January 2017 Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens in Flintridge near Los Angeles will host the North American Japanese Garden Association regional conference in January 2017 Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens

California and Texas will play host to regional conferences of the North American Japanese Garden Association in January and February 2017.

Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15, 2017 a regional conference will be held in Southern California at Descanso Gardens in Flintridge.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Descanso Gardens, the conference is designed to “explore the Japanese garden experience in Southern California in a two-day regional event featuring hands-on workshops, an exhibition, lectures on horticulture and history and expert-led tours of five Asian gardens,” said a release from the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA).

“Descanso Gardens, just northeast of downtown Los Angeles, is celebrating the 50th year of its Japanese garden. Descanso is embracing the garden’s evolving form, its identity as a focal point for a multi-cultural community and its role in inspiring new artistic creation. For lovers of camellia, a familiar plant in the Japanese garden, Descanso is home to the largest camellia collection in North America.

“The Japanese garden at the nearby Huntington boasts a history over 100 years as well as a legacy of evolution and renovation seen in its restored Japanese House and a new tea garden. Two other large gardens in the area — the SuiHoen (Garden of Water and Fragrance) in Van Nuys and the Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena — illustrate how Japanese gardens can demonstrate the sustainable use of water in even an arid climate. All of these gardens feature exceptional garden architecture that makes use of Southern California’s year-round warmth and indoor-outdoor lifestyle.”

For further information and to register, contact NAJGA at

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In February — 10 through 12, the Japanese Garden at Fort Worth Botanical Garden and the Meiners garden in Grand Prairie will host a NAJGA regional conference.

Fort Worth Japanese garden, photo by K.T. and Bill Eger

Fort Worth Japanese garden

The following text is quoted from the NAJGA web site offering registration for Texas events.

“The diverse topography of the state of Texas contains elements associated with both the southern and southwestern parts of the United States, from the rolling prairies, grasslands, forests and coastlines in the east to the deserts of the southwest. As big as the land itself is the canvas of myriad possibilities for expressing the landscape-inspired artistry of a Japanese garden in the Lone Star State.

“The Japanese garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and a private garden located in the city of Grand Prairie illustrate the range of traditional and contemporary landscape artistry worked into that sprawling canvas. The 7.5-acre garden in Fort Worth incorporates both a traditional stroll garden with a water feature and two interpretations of the dry landscape style. The Meiners Garden in Grand Prairie is an example of the adaptability of the Japanese garden aesthetic, with its emphasis on responding to the environment in which the garden exists.  The tea garden and the hill-and-pond garden are seamlessly integrated with the residence in traditional Japanese manner.  A larger pond garden in the premises is a parallel ongoing project.

“These gardens illustrate how Japanese gardens are always a work in progress. On February 10, 11 and 12, the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) offers a rare opportunity for participants to both shape the future of these gardens and appreciate them through hands-on sessions. The sessions include the repair and maintenance of man-made and horticultural elements, the creation of a new water feature, and a day of learning with a focus on the tea garden tradition.

“This regional event is highly recommended for landscape and horticulture professionals in the south and southwestern US with an interest in Japanese garden design, construction and maintenance. For garden owners and other enthusiasts, the event provides an instructive inside view of two gardens in evolution that can relate to their own creation / maintenance concerns and garden study.”

Activities included in the workshops include: bamboo fence repair, shaping of wave-form foliage, preparing trees for transplant, head water and stream construction, tours and tea ceremony.

This event is eligible for CEUs (continuing education units) with professional organizations. See the NAJGA web site and registration form for more information.

Categories: California, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Texas | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Short walk in Los Angeles yields several gardens


Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco plus a few places remaining in Berkeley and San Diego offer visitors to those California cities glimpses into the old days of Japantowns. Here a daruma is one image of three on fans attached to utility poles throughout Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.          [photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger]

We passed through Los Angeles on our way to a Japanese garden conference in Denver sponsored by the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). During a previous conference some years earlier, a tour guided us through the triangular garden at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center designed by Takeo Uesugi in the early 1970s. Thirty years later, Mr. Uesugi returned for a complete renewal of the same garden, which also involved modifying the downstairs conference room with folding glass doors that would open completely, blending inside and outside.

As is true with many gardens, it is named not for the location, organization, or designer. This is the James Irvine Japanese Garden named for the foundation whose generosity made this hidden gem possible. It also is known as Senryu-en, Garden of the Clear Stream.


David Sipos hand planed and traditionally built bridge is holding up very nicely

For more information on the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, please look at their web site:

Across the brick plaza and past the Isamu Noguchi sculpture to the other side is a wonderful wander through the stores and restaurants of Little Tokyo.


On the other side of that is East First Street and the “new” Nishi Hongwanji of Los Angeles.

Members of the sangha took time to point out how grateful they felt to have quite a number of landscapers among their membership. My personal favorites were the rustic lantern on the First Street side and several beautifully pruned pines.

For more information on the Nishi Hongwanji Los Angeles Betsuin contact their web site:

Back up First Street is the old Nishi Hongwanji building, now part of the Japanese American National Museum campus.

Exterior glass admits great light far into the interior. The glass is continued inside with a very subtle gratitude to donors “wall” between the great hall and the outdoor cafe.

For more information on the Japanese American National Museum, contact their web site:

Between the old Nishi Hongwanji and the Japanese American National Museum, a wide plaza leads back to monuments dedicated to Japanese American service in World War II. “Go For Broke” was their motto.

Further up the street is Anzen Hardware, covered in an earlier post.

And then back to the hotel we chose for proximity to all these places and the exquisite third floor garden, accessible via elevator from the lobby.

Kyoto Gardens has become a Hilton DoubleTree. The garden hosts many wedding parties.

Before leaving town the following morning, we walked down the street to see the Higashi Hongwanji gardens, presently being maintained by the son of one of the garden’s builders.


Please do not waste your time trying to post unrelated material (spam). All comments are reviewed before they appear.

Photos by K.T. Cannon-Eger. We welcome helpful remarks and sharing of material. If you share, please be nice and give credit.


Categories: California, Los Angeles | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regional conferences aid landscape education

The North American Japanese Garden Association will hold two regional conferences in October 2015.

Fostering Mature Cultural Landscapes: The Japanese Gardens in New York will be held Thursday and Friday, October 1 and 2, featuring The Pocantico Center and the Japanese Garden at Kykuit, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, United Nations Peace Bell Garden, Innisfree Garden, and Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden. The opportunity to visit the Peace Bell garden is extraordinary as this garden is not normally open to the public.

Members of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) may earn continuing education credits for participation in the conference and garden tours.

For further information, please look at the NAJGA web site:

Sadafumi Uchiyama

Sadafumi Uchiyama is one of the specialists teaching proper techniques in the pruning workshops.

Branching out in the South: Pruning Small Trees and Shrubs in the Japanese Tradition is a two-day, intense, hands-on workshop scheduled for Thursday and Friday, October 22 and 23, at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Culbetson Asiatic Arboretum in Durham, North Carolina.

There are several special features of this gathering including a farm to fork dinner and a tour of a private residential garden.

Continuing education credits (CEUs) for the lectures and workshops have been granted by the Southern Chapter of the International Society of Arborists (ISA)Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and the North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board (NCLCLB).

For additional information, please refer to the NAJGA web site:

There are more than 250 Japanese gardens in Canada and the United States. These gardens are havens of beauty and tranquility, cultural and historic landscapes and places for natural healing.  Since 2011, the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) has been promoting the welfare of these gardens and the people who love and care for them through education and advocacy.

A biennial conference is in the planning stage for March 7 and 8 at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. The conference theme is Towards a Healthier World: Japanese Gardens as Places for Wellness and Transformation. For information on invitations for presentations, guidelines and theme, please refer to the NAJGA web site.

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Lili`uokalani Gardens featured in NAJGA Journal

stone bridge

Lili`uokalani Gardens circa 1930 from the University of Hawaii – Manoa library digital archives

The second annual Journal of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) features a story on Hilo’s Lili`uokalani Gardens in a section devoted to gardens celebrating a centennial.

“It is such a delight to see and so important for Hilo to be included in this professional Japanese gardening publication that receives international distribution,” Journal editor K.T. Cannon-Eger said. “Lili`uokalani Gardens will mark 100 years since construction began with a year full of activities in 2017. Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was formed to help the County prepare for the centennial and to ensure the continuation of this unique garden, a jewel at the gateway to Hilo.”

Ongoing efforts include monthly volunteer work days at Lili`uokalani Gardens. The next scheduled efforts are Friday, May 15, and Saturday, June 13. Each volunteer day is scheduled from 8 a.m. until noon. Volunteers are asked to bring their favorite tools, although some tools, gloves, and refreshments are available from the Friends group.

“Plans for the centennial year include a major event in or connected to Lili`uokalani Gardens every month of the year,” said Cannon-Eger. “An art show, a floral design event, fun run, golf tournament, and gala are among projects in the planning stage in addition to traditional annual events such as the Queen Lili`uokalani Festival in September, the Urasenke of Hilo anniversary in July, and many annual fund raising walks held by the Hawaii Heart Association, Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation, Hawaii Animal Shelter, and our police and firefighters.”

Other Japanese gardens featured in the NAJGA Journal centennial series and the year of each garden’s centennial (in parenthesis) include The Huntington in San Marino, CA (2012); Maymont in Richmond, VA (2012); Brooklyn Botanic Garden, NY (2015); the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego, CA in Balboa Park (2015); and Hakone in Saratoga, CA (2015).

The 70-page publication plus sturdy cover features abundant historic black-and-white and modern four-color photographs throughout. In addition to the Centennial Gardens section, six gardens are featured in a series on pond renovation and repair: The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Seiwa’en, Chicago Botanic Garden’s Sansho’en, Philadelphia’s Shofuso, Washington DC’s Hillwood Estate, Austin, TX Taniguchi Garden, and Rockford, IL Anderson Japanese Gardens.

Two additional lengthy articles in the Journal investigate the landscape gardens at Manzanar, one of ten internment camps on the mainland United States during World War II. The gardens at Manzanar continue to be uncovered and restored during archaeological projects of the National Park Service. The Manzanar articles had to be edited for length in the printed edition of the Journal. The full article is available on the NAJGA web site.

Copies of the NAJGA Journal are available for sale at the Hawaii Japanese Center at 751 Kanoelehua Avenue and Basically Books at 160 Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo, HI.

“Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is an organizational member of NAJGA, the first Japanese garden in Hawaii to be a member,” said Cannon-Eger, a founding member of both organizations. “As a professional, non-profit organization, NAJGA is dedicated to the appreciation, understanding, and sustainability of Japanese gardens throughout the United States and Canada. We have seen first-hand the benefits of membership through the wide variety of programs, workshops, and services they offer. We hope one day to host a regional conference or international convention of NAJGA in Hilo.”

For additional information on the North American Japanese Garden Association, contact president of the board of directors Kendall Brown at or send a letter to NAJGA at P. O. Box 28438, Portland OR 97228.

For additional information on Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens and how you might help prepare for the centennial celebration in 2017, contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at (808) 895-8130 or email to or write to Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, P. O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96720.


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