Seattle Japanese Garden opens on March 1

Parkways » Seattle Japanese Garden celebrates Opening Day First Viewing

The Seattle Japanese Garden’s 2014 season opens on Saturday, March 1 with a celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To ensure a wonderful season, Reverend Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine will honor the Japanese Garden with the traditional Shinto blessing at noon.

This 3 ½ acre formal garden evokes another time and place, a unique and artistic representation of nature influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Tao philosophies. Designed and built under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juko Iida in 1960, the garden is a quiet place, allowing reflection and meditation through the careful placement of water, garden plants, stones, waterfalls, trees and bridges.

Admission fees for First Viewing are: $10 for adults 18-64, $5 for youths 6–17, senior adults 65+, college students with ID, and people with disabilities, and free for kids younger than 6.

For free, the community is invited to enjoy the opening of a beautiful new photography exhibit “A Celebration of Spring”  from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Tateuchi Community Room.  The juried show also on March 1 celebrates nine photographers and their fantastic views of the Garden from a spring workshop in 2013.

The Japanese Garden offers monthly tea presentations and demonstration at the Tea House and other great community events during the March -November season when it is open to the public.

via Parkways » Seattle Japanese Garden celebrates Opening Day First Viewing.

Recommended reading: “The Gardener of Versailles” by Alain Baraton

Versailles head gardener and TV host Baraton reflects on his three decades tending some of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

Simply but thoroughly, the author narrates the history of Versailles, from the days of Henry IV sneaking off to these woods to hunt to the days of the revolution. The most surprising element is the speed with which an estate of such size was built. The gardens, on the other hand, sprung from the guiding hand of Louis XIV’s gardener, André Le Nôtre, but then took their own sweet time to flourish. Baraton importantly points out how people rush about on the Rue de Rivoli and other parts of Paris but then slow to a snail’s pace when they walk through gardens at Versailles. Gardens reach into your soul, writes the author, whether you plant them, harvest them or simply enjoy them. The author philosophizes about the ability of gardens to provide space for deep reflection, and he writes poetically about the beautiful power of the grounds he tends. He also provides some practical advice—e.g., the best places for a lovers’ tryst. The building and maintenance of the world’s grandest garden took the efforts and perspectives of a wide variety of great royal gardeners, including Claude Mollet and Jacques Boyceau, as well as builders like Louis Le Vau and Charles Le Brun. In addition to paying tribute to the work of these innovators, Baraton also looks at the various films that have been filmed on the grounds, storms that have battered them, and the effects of each season on the flora and fauna.

The descriptions of the various sites on the grounds could only come from a man fortunate enough to have lived on and loved the site for almost 40 years.

via THE GARDENER OF VERSAILLES by Alain Baraton, Christopher Brent Murray | Kirkus.

A Japanese garden in Corvallis, Oregon



The world-famous Portland Japanese Garden is but the start of a North American Asian garden exploration in the Pacific Northwest. The area, so like Japan in climate and horticulture, is teeming with many hidden gems like the “Garden of Gentle Breeze,” a private haven located in the university town of Corvallis, Oregon.





From the website: “Garden of Gentle Breeze is a green oasis  crisscrossed by footpaths, three gentle  ponds with the soothing sounds of small waterfalls. The large boulders and stones  help us to feel grounded in the earth while above us and around us stand the towering firs, flowering shrubs and plants, all carefully placed to create a sanctuary of tranquility.The garden is a place of harmony that integrates the four elements–earth, air, water, and fire–and achieves a balance between Yin and Yang. As a wedding venue, it is a perfect place to begin one’s life journey with the one you love and a place that you can return to again and again for inspiration, rekindling fond memories and renewing your vows as the years go by.  Family and invited guests will always remember what a special and beautiful day they spent being part of your wedding.  They too can return to visit the gardens whenever they feel the need to relax and rejuvenate.”

via Garden of Gentle Breeze | Corvallis Japanese Garden in Oregon.

Stanford’s New Guinea Sculpture Garden celebrates 20 years

In 1994, ten master carvers were flown in from Papua New Guinea by anthropology department graduate student Jim Mason, and asked to engage their remarkably otherworldly work with one of our natural California landscapes. Over the course of their four month residency they created the sinuous carvings you can still see today in the aptly named Stanford New Guinea Sculpture Garden.

via Stanford’s New Guinea Scuplture Garden Celebrates 20 Years – Foliage Finder – Curbed SF.

New botanic garden to rise in the Isle of Man

Planners have approved applications for a ‘botanical garden of global standing and worthy recognition’ in Santon.

Mark Shuttleworth, the first South African in space and multi-millionaire founder of the Ubuntu computer operating system, is the brainchild behind the project.

And the garden can be created within about 71 acres of land that he owns in Ballavale Road, subject to a number of planning conditions.

In the design statement submitted with the applications (13/00830/B), (13/00831/B), (13/00832/B) and (13/00834/B) it stated: ‘The intention is to create an estate, and associated buildings, that will contribute significantly to the island’s heritage, creating a botanical garden of global standing and worthy recognition.’

When open to the public, the plan is for the gardens to be presented in a manner to inform and educate visitors in a relaxed environment’

Wildlife and biodiversity are considered to be intrinsic elements of the masterplan.

As much of the existing mature vegetation as possible will be retained, and will be enhanced by additional planting schemes specifically designed to conserve and encourage the growth of local planting species, attract wildlife and encourage biodiversity.

There will be wetlands, a glen, a meadow orchard, Japanese garden, gardeners’ compound, sensory garden, water cascade and a walled garden.

A large production house will enable a substantial and constant seasonal supply of plants and flowers’ to be grown.

A sensory garden will be developed in close collaboration with a number of charities including the Manx Blind Welfare Society and Rebecca House children’s hospice.

And an amphitheatre will provide an outdoor stage for theatrical performances and educational presentations.

via Plan to create botanic garden ‘of global standing’ – Isle of Man Today.

Portland Japanese garden writing contest

Koto-ji lantern at the Strolling Pond Garden. Photo: Oregon Live

Gardens stir up memories. It could be the scent of a rose, the image of a sculptural bonsai, the touch of a textured leaf.

The Portland Japanese Garden invites everyone who has a personal story inspired by a walk among its 5.5 acres to enter its writing contest. The deadline is Feb. 12.

People often tell Steve Bloom, the garden’s CEO, how it’s inspiring to spend time among the five traditional styles of Japanese gardens.

“A Japanese garden has an ability to transport a person, help them connect and to touch people’s lives,” he says. “It is a unique experience with the potential to be transformational.”

Visitor Colleen Posley shared a memory of a trip to the garden with her grandparents after her grandmother was diagnosed with transient ischemia.

Posley posted on the Portland Japanese Garden’s Facebook page: “She’d started to lose her memory by then and Grampa and I sat on a bench and watched her walk around enjoying the peace and the flowers and the general loveliness of the place. It was a good day.”

Send your entry in A Memory I Carry Writing Contest to by Feb. 12. The winner will receive a $55 gift card and two runners up will each be awarded a $25 gift card.

via Oregon weather: Stay inside and enter a garden writing contest |

MoMA to provide free access to sculpture garden

Peace and quiet can be hard to come by in the middle of Manhattan. Maybe, if the ice ever melts, you might balance a lunch burrito on your lap in the sunken plaza outside the McGraw-Hill Building. Or park yourself in a hotel lobby and pretend to be a guest.

But for many people the oasis of choice has long been the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art, a soothing half-acre of stone flooring and spouting fountains that provides a brief respite from the madness of Midtown.

For a price.

Access to the garden required a $25 admission to the museum.

Now, though, as part of an expansion plan, the museum is talking about opening the gates to the sanctum for no charge, a prospect that some find positively horrifying.

Read more via MoMA’s Proposal for Sculpture Garden Pleases and Riles –