Sukiya Living (The Journal of Japanese Gardening) published the latest list of the top 10 Japanese gardens in North America in its September / October 2013 issue. The list is based on a survey of Japanese garden specialists and covers the more than 300 public Japanese gardens in the continent.
10. Tillman Water Plant Japanese Garden (Van Nuys, California) Located in the premises of the Donald C. Tillman Reclamation Plant, the Suiho En ”garden of water and fragrance” is a 6½ acre authentic Japanese garden fashioned after stroll gardens constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries for Japanese feudal lords. It incorporates three classical designs: a dry kare sansui, a wet garden with promenade, and an authentic tea ceremony garden incorporating a 4.5 tatami mat tea room.
Photo from http://lacreekfreak.wordpress.com/
9. Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri) Seiwa-en, “garden of pure, clear harmony and peace,” is located on 14 acres at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the nation. The Japanese Garden, dedicated in 1977, was designed by the late Professor Koichi Kawana, a native of Japan and lecturer on environmental design and landscape architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden
8. Carleton College Japanese Garden (Northfield, Minnesota) The Jo Ryo En ”garden of quiet listening” was designed and constructed by Dr. David Slawson between 1974 and 1976. Dr. Slawson, who received his doctorate in Japanese literature and aesthetics from Indiana University, studied for two years in Kyoto with Kinsaku Nakane, one of Japan’s foremost garden designers.
Photo by Margit Johnson
7. Seattle Japanese Garden Located within the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, Washington, this is a 3 1/2 acre formal garden designed and constructed in 1960 under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida who has designed more than 1,000 gardens around the world.
Photo from Seattle.gov Parks and Recreation
6. Bloedel Reserve Japanese Garden (Bainbridge Island, Washington) Located within a 150-acre arboretum and national reserve, this garden was designed by Seattle landscape designer and nurseryman Fujitaro Kubota. Professor Koichi Kawana, who teaches landscape architecture at the University of California, also designed a dry garden, which evokes meditative moods with its elements of stone and sand.
Photo from Flickr.com
5. Garvan Woodland Gardens (Hot Springs, Arkansas) The “garden of the pine wind” is a four-acre, majestic rock and stream garden. This garden was also designed by Dr. David Slawson and features approximately 300 varieties of Asian ornamental plants, including 60 types of Japanese and other Asian maples and Oriental dogwoods. Key features include the Sunrise Bridge, the Joy Manning Scott Bridge of the Full Moon, three major cascades, a 12-foot waterfall, two springs, four pools, and a half-acre koi pond.
Photo from Arkansas.com
4. UBC’s Nitobe Garden (Vancouver, British Columbia) This is a traditional Japanese tea and stroll Garden located on the grounds of the University of British Columbia. It was created out of two-and-a-half acres (one hectare) of pristine forest by landscape architects and gardeners recommended by the government of Japan. The garden honours Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), a prominent Japanese agricultural economist, author, educator, diplomat and politician.
Check out my visit to this Japanese garden here.
Photo: Grace R Morrissey
3. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) This traditional-style house and nationally-ranked garden reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007. A viewing garden with koi pond and island, a tea garden, and a courtyard garden comprise the 17th century-style Japanese walled and fenced garden of this historic site.
Photo from dguides.com
2. Anderson Gardens (Rockford, Illinois) The second best garden for 2013 was built in the late 70′s around a naturally-occurring spring-fed pond on the estate of John Anderson, whose lifelong fascination with Japan started after college. Garden designer Hoichi Kurisu spent many years studying under Kenzo Ogata, one of Japan’s most renowned landscape designer. The strolling pond garden includes several waterfalls and ponds, streams, rock formations, winding paths, and a tea house and guest house. The “garden of reflection” is a contemporary Japanese-inspired garden with bronze angel sculptures.
Photo from jsonline.com
1. Portland Japanese Garden (Portland, Oregon) Adjudged once more as North America’s best Japanese garden, this is a garden museum featuring five styles of Japanese garden (strolling pond, natural garden, tea garden, sand-and-stone garden/flat garden) on a 5.5-acre hilly area overlooking downtown Portland. Designed by Prof. Takuma Tono of Tokyo Agricultural University, it is celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year and has expansion plans in place in the next few years, including the creation of a public tea house and a center for Japanese gardening education.
Check out the “Festival of Souls” at the garden here.
During the recent O-bon festival at the Portland Japanese Garden. Photo: Grace R Morrissey