The Japanese Garden in the Arboretum is about to end its winter hiatus, reopening on Sunday, February 14, for its 50th Anniversary season. Rated by a garden journal as one of the ten favorite Japanese gardens in the country, Seattle’s Japanese Garden was inaugurated in July 1960, after only four months of construction. It’s now ready to celebrate a half century of giving pleasure to visitors seeking sanctuary and a connection to nature.
The concept of adding a Japanese Garden to the Arboretum goes back to 1937, but it took another twenty years for the idea to gain enough popular support to enable fundraising to begin for the project (a war against Japan had intervened). In 1959, with funds in hand and the design completed, Juki Iida and Nobumasa Kitamura were hired to build the garden, which originally was scheduled to take up to three years to complete. Using heavy construction equipment, a somewhat scaled-back design, and a capable crew of mostly Japanese-American gardeners, the builders transformed an Arboretum ravine into a colorful and tranquil garden, offset by boulders, water features and formal elements. And they did it all in record time. (That’s Juki Iida in the photo below, standing on the site during the construction). Click here to read more.
Thanks to Bryan Tagas at Madison Park Blogger for letting me re-post this great article!