NAJGA’s Virtual Programs

NAJGA is dedicated to supporting and connecting the Japanese garden community in North America including public garden staff and volunteers, garden designers and builders as well as garden enthusiasts.  Since April, we’ve held a variety of virtual discussions for member groups. Beginning in June, we will include lectures and demonstrations in our virtual offerings. Please see the list below to learn about upcoming programs. To participate, simply click on the program you’re interested in to be taken to the Zoom registration page.  

Above: Ganna Walska Lotusland, Santa Barbara, California (Photo by Bob Craig)

NAJGA’s Upcoming Virtual Programs

Patterns for Peace
a collaborative project to celebrate
the U
nited Nations International Day of Peace

Monday, September 21st
9:00 AM PDT
Register Here

To celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace, 5 U.S. gardens have raked “patterns for peace” into their karesansuis. The patterns were designed by Hiroshima artist and A-bomb survivor, Toshiko Tanaka, an advocate for peace. The panel will include representatives from each garden. Come hear about their process and the significance of this project. The discussion will begin with a video of the raking done at each garden, interviews with garden representatives involved in the project and with Mrs. Tanaka. A question and answer session with garden representatives will follow the video. 

Restoring Kinship with Nature through Japanese Gardens-
New Biocultural Diversity Commons in Kanazawa City

A Virtual Lecture with Dr. Juan Pastor-Ivars
Wednesday, October 7th
4:30 PM PDT*

To register click here

In this lecture, Dr. Juan Pastor-Ivars will discuss the spatial types of the Japanese traditional garden through three different but complementary spheres: philosophy, design, and ecology, giving examples located in Kanazawa City. He’ll focus specifically on the gardens adjacent to Kanazawa city’s canals (canal water gardens) and those with natural sources of spring water (spring water gardens). These types of gardens show Kanazawa’s rich biocultural diversity; however, many are in danger as they have been abandoned due to the city’s aging population or are not well-maintained. Recently, there has been a movement to preserve, promote, and revitalize these unique gardens. Hundreds of people have now participated in expert seminars, special visits, and voluntary cleaning workshops to ensure these gardens do not disappear. Dr. Pastor-Ivars will share his research on these gardens and the movement to preserve them.

Dr. Juan Pastor-Ivars is a researcher with the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa (UNU-IAS OUIK). His areas of academic expertise are the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and ecology. His research focuses on the sustainable conservation and resilient development of urban ecosystem services. These studies aim to have a positive effect on the pressing global problems of climate change, aging of societies, shrinking of cities, mass tourism, loss of biocultural diversity, and ecosystem fragmentation, among others. To address these global challenges, he is assessing the feasibility of a green-blue infrastructure through the inventorying, mapping, and monitoring of existing ecosystem services and the re-utilization of empty houses and vacant plots in cities. He is also interested in the management of urban ecosystem services through joint management and eco-tourism. He is the author of the book, Restoring Kinship with Nature Through Japanese Gardens- The Challenge to Achieve a Sustainable Commons in Kanazawa and has also published a chapter entitled “The Veil, the Clearing and the Flow: New Commons of Japanese Traditional Gardens in Kanazawa City,” in Urban Nature: Enriching Belonging, Wellbeing and Bioculture edited by Michelle L. Cocks and Charlie M. Shackleton.

Dr. Pastor-Ivars, was born in Dénia, Spain. He speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, and Japanese. He obtained a Masters in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. He moved to the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto, in 2009 where he obtained a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Kyoto Institute of Technology. He was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow at Kyoto University and received his Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia with a focus on Japanese gardens. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Ma and Oku, Ogawa Jihei and Japanese Gardens of the 19th Century”.

Prior to joining UNU, he worked for six years in a public government organization in Spain as an architect, urban planner and policymaker; held diverse internships in architecture firms, including Kengo Kuma and Associates; and provided part-time assistance for three years at Kyoto Gakuen University, focusing on the topic of “Nature and City”.

*We’ll begin the evening with an informal meet-and-greet from 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT. Come and introduce yourself and get to know others in the Japanese garden community. The lecture will begin at 5:00pm PDT. Then, we’ll end with a Q & A with Dr. Pastor-Ivars.

Moss 101
with Mossin’ Annie of Mountain Moss

Saturday, November 7th
9:00 AM PDT

To register click here. 

Would you like to add year-round green appeal to your Japanese garden? Mosses offer a sense of antiquity and amazing ambiance that can be enjoyed through all seasons, even in cold winter months. If you have been wondering how to successfully grow mosses in your landscape, then join us on Saturday, November 7th at 9:00 AM PDT/12:00 PM EDT to discover how these ancient miniature plants can enhance the beauty of your garden.

Our speaker, Annie Martin, aka Mossin’ Annie, will provide inspirational photographs; identify appropriate moss species for shade and sun locations; highlight environmental benefits; and engage participants with informative DIY moss gardening how-to tips. You’ll gain new perspectives and basic knowledge needed to begin your own moss gardening journey.  

Mossin’ Annie is a nationally-recognized moss gardening expert and author. Her book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening, was published by Timber Press in 2015 and translated into Japanese in 2017. Martin owns Mountain Moss Enterprises in the mountains of western North Carolina where she cultivates “rescued” mosses at her Mossery and ships out LIVE mosses all around the country through her online Moss Shop. 

Upcoming Virtual Discussions

All of NAJGA’s Virtual Discussions seek to build community among member groups. These discussions have an open and informal format- participants have the opportunity to share successes, ask questions and seek advice from their colleagues. All are scheduled to last 1 hour. 

If you have questions you’d like to see addressed during the discussion in which you will participate, please email Marisa at

In November, we’ll have virtual discussions for:

Professional/Business Members
Home Gardeners

and the following discussions for Public Garden Staff/Volunteers:

Membership Departments
Volunteer/Docent Managers
Events & Marketing Departments
Education & Exhibit Departments
Horticulture Teams
Leadership Teams
For Volunteers of Public Gardens