Southern California 2017
Workshop & Garden Tour
January 14 and 15, 2017
Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, CA
Southern California is home to a number of outstanding Japanese gardens that pays homage to the rich history of Japanese - American cultural presence in the area while honoring California's native landscape, horticultural legacy and ethos of innovation, sustainability and love of the outdoors.
The North American Japanese Garden Association, in cooperation with Descanso Gardens, explores 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.
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.
Happening two weeks after the famous Rose Parade draws throngs to the area, this event provides participants an opportunity to enjoy Southern California climate at its best.
This event is eligible for continuing education units with
the following professional organizations:
Special thanks to:
DAY 1 - January 14, Saturday
9 AM to 4.30 PM
PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOP & GARDEN TOUR
"Sharing Culture, Creating Community" Exhibition
at the Sturt Haaga Gallery
American landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, author of the seminal 1950's book "Landscape for Living" once called Japanese gardens "the most highly refined and completely developed garden conception our world culture has ever known." Descanso Gardens education curators Emi Yoshimura and Nadia Hagan will provide a guided tour of an indoor art exhibition that captures this concept of the garden.
The exhibit presents the social history of Descanso's Japanese garden. It uses photos of Japanese-style gardens in North America to suggest the profound level of fascination they elicit from visitors and viewers. Prints, paintings and sculptural installations reveal how Japanese gardens have inspired modern and contemporary artists in Japan and America.
WORKSHOP - Black Pine Pruning
Horticulturist and ikebana master Kaz Kitajima teaches pine pruning techniques relevant to amateur and professional gardeners. After Mr. Kitajima demonstrates basic principles and techniques, participants (individually or in pairs) will prune a 5-gallon potted pine under his expert guidance. Pruning scissors are provided. Participants may purchase the pine they worked on.
Each workshop batch is limited to 25 persons.
LECTURE - "Integrating Gardens & Buildings:
Mid-Century Japanism in Southern California"
Garden and art historian Dr. Kendall Brown analyzes the fertile artistic ground from which Descanso's Japanese garden sprang in the early 1960s. This slide lecture explains how, in the wake of World War II, the American understanding of Japanese design evolved from the exotic historicism of world's fairs and tea gardens to a sophisticated integration of indoor and outdoor spaces in the service of a healthy modern life.
LECTURE - The Human Story of Japanese Plants in California
Naomi Hirahara, author and historian of Southern California's Japanese - American horticultural world, discusses the legendary San Gabriel Nursery and the Los Angeles Flower Mart and how these pioneering horticultural institutions are connected to Descanso Gardens and the Japanese-style garden at Descanso. Mary Ishihara Swanton, daughter of Saburo Ishihara, longtime head of the San Gabriel Nursery, will add insights from the perspective of this important conduit of Japanese plants to California.
Camellia Forest Walk and Tutorial
Rachel Young, Descanso's Director of Horticulture leads a walk through the Descanso Gardens Camellia Collection - the largest in North America. Home to both rare and familiar camellias, the collection has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. Camellias at Descanso bloom from early autumn to spring, with dazzling display in the winter, The tour includes discussion of the origin and history of the collection, a look at rare and familiar camellias, and insights into horticultural practices that support these plants.
Descanso Japanese Garden Tours
Garden experts David Brown and Ken Brown lead educational tours of Descanso's Japanese garden, begun in 1966 as a meandering stream landscape by Eijiro Nunokawa around Whitney Smith's modernist tea house, expanded with a dry garden and second building in 1969, and renovated in 1998 by Lew Watanabe. The tours interpret the garden from the standpoint of design, management as a community building, and as spaces of transformation and wellness.
To be held at the Akuma Sake Japanese Restaurant, 239 N Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91201.
This is a no-host dinner that is not part of event registration. Please advise by e-mail: email@example.com
if you wish to join so NAJGA can reserve restaurant space accordingly.
DAY 2 - January 15, Sunday
9 AM to 4 PM
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GARDEN TOUR
All tours will be guided and expert-led,
to be facilitated by resident curators of each garden.
SuiHoen (Garden of Water and Fragrance)
Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Van Nuys, CA
We wander through this 6.5-acre, pond-style stroll garden, built in 1984, that is perhaps the masterpiece of Koichi Kawana, creator of noted Japanese-style gardens at the botanic garden in St. Louis, Chicago and Denver. From the dramatic dry landscape, along sensuously meandering paths and then to the pond-side viewing pavilion, the garden unfolds in a series of compelling scenes against the backdrops of Anthony Lumsden’s futuristic administration building and the Santa Monica Mountains.
Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden
This 1.5-acre private garden, created from 1935-40 by Kinzuchi Fujii, takes us on an intimate journey across two ponds to an elegant teahouse. Renovated in 2012 by Takeo Uesugi Associates to preserve the design but create areas for social use, the garden is a rare Japanese garden made just before WWII and a model of sustainable water use. The garden curator explains his impressive program of composting and recycling.
Japanese Gardens and Chinese Garden
The Huntington, San Marino, CA
The iconic Huntington presents a veritable history of Japanese gardens in America with its 1912 pond garden and Japanese house (originally created in Pasadena in 1903), its Zen courtyard garden and bonsai court from 1967, and now its teahouse and tea garden built as part of its centennial celebration. The curator-lead tour provides an “inside” glimpse into the three Japanese gardens. It also leaves time for attendees to explore the Chinese garden and other treasures of the Huntington.
Includes pruning demonstration by Takuhiro Yamada (Hanatoyo, Inc., Kyoto) and presentation of the Japanese House restoration by Kelly McLeod of KSM Architecture.
LECTURERS & FACILITATORS
RECOMMENDED HOTELS AND GETTING THERE
Descanso Gardens is located near the intersection of the 210 and 2 freeways, and is a 20-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles. Access the Google map HERE.
For participants traveling by air, the recommended itinerary is to fly to the Hollywood Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport) and stay at Glendale, CA which is 10 minutes away from the airport and 10 minutes away from Descanso. The airport offers direct or easy connections to a number of major destinations in the West Coast and East Coast. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is also about 25 miles away (1-hour drive) to Glendale.
Glendale offers a number of reasonable priced options for accommodation. The Hilton Los Angeles North / Glendale
(100 West Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202) currently offers room rates starting at $160.00.
Lunch is included on both days and the January 15 garden tour includes bus transportation.
NOTE: Descanso Gardens members should contact the garden membership staff
for the registration passcode required to register with a member discount.
If you need assistance with registration between December 18 to 30,
January 14 and 15
January 14 only
January 15 only