Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lots happening and super-secret azalea

by aleks

1.) The school tours are winding down and almost over, as summer time is nearly upon us: one of the last school tours was on Tuesday, June 10th - the middle schoolers came from The Attic Learning Community; they were visiting SJG before their Arboretum visit (for a  plant workshop w/ecology focus).  They were very well prepared, curious and asked smart questions, among other things were interested in hearing/learning about tea  ceremonies - not much I could have helped them with, besides general information, but hopefully they'll come back soon for a tea ceremony itself.

SJG • 6/10/14 - The Attic Learning Community visiting SJG

2.) Hello, Fellow docents: Unit 86 Executive Committee meeting with Parks Dept. regarding Parks Department and U86 cooperation: this Monday, June 16, 2014  10:30-12:00  in TCR (minutes from previous mtg and agenda for this one in your inbox, inside email  from U86 prez);  a new way for you to get involved and participate in the works of the Garden - a committee is being created and waits for you (on volunteer recruitment for tours; overall garden programming; gatehouse signage; merchandise inventory and routine reports; and volunteer signup and tracking systems.)

3.) Also, Hello fellow docents: a new shipment of Japanese Garden T-shirts has arrived, and almost 200 shirts need to be prepared for sale - can you help the Merchandise Committee do this? On Wednesday, June 18 at 10:00 - 1:00 in TCR?

4.) We have TWO up-coming cont. ed classes for the guides:
• June 19, Thursday, 10 AM-1 PM: Contemporary Way of Tea— with Mrs. Naomi Takemura
• July 19, Saturday, 10 AM-1 PM: Gardening the Body—Art and Practice of Butoh—with Joan Laage

5.) Saturday, June 21: A Day at Hort: Open House Invitation for the second Annual Seattle Parks and Recreation Jefferson Horticulture Facility at 1600 S. Dakota Street (details in your inbox inside email  from U86 prez).

Seattle Chinese Garden • 6/14/14 - Guzheng (koto 'ancestor')

 6.) We had our annual filed-trip to Chinese Garden with Dewey yesterday - I planned to attend and had to skip at the last moment  (perhaps you can post about it if you attended?), but managed to catch lovely  GUZHENG (koto 'ancestor') recital there several hours later, complete with Chinese painting and dancing (see pics) and saw 400 newly planted peonies - .

Seattle Chinese Garden • 6/14/14 - Guzheng recital

7.)  Hello Everyone, guests and volunteers: Don't forget celebration of  Tanabata - a Japanese star festival on Sunday, July 6!

SJG • 6/14/14 Rhododendron amagianum, an azalea which has trifoliate evergreen foliage and blooms in June with scarlet, somewhat tubular flowers. It's super-secret, because it somehow escaped our Plant List, spotted by senior-gardener Patty and identified by Corinne K. @ Plant Committee.  It Grows in area Y, close to Service Road (you can see the road behind the plant)

SJG • 6/14/14 - R. amagianum, Area Y

8.) I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Poster Project Showcases Garden

by Cara I.
Visitors to the garden this season have noticed two new posters in the gatehouse area, the result of collaboration between Unit 86 member Pam Generaux and Roosevelt High School photography teacher Cecelia Otto.

One poster developed
by Roosevelt High School students
Three Roosevelt High School advanced photography students developed the posters as an independent study project for which they visited the garden several times to photograph their impressions of it. Their stunning photography and the design of the posters have elicited many responses – passersby decide to tour the garden, garden members recall their own impressions, older visitors enjoy seeing it through the youthful photographers' eyes, etc.

The students, who had not visited the garden before, were struck by how beautiful and peaceful it is. They loved capturing images of its flowers, koi, and lanterns - it is a place they wish to visit again.

Teacher Cecelia Otto said the project was a wonderful real life opportunity for the students to collaborate with a “client”- the
Japanese Garden - and produce posters that reflected the space. The students had never done a project for use like this, and in the fall, Otto would like to have more students take photos of the garden to show another season in the garden.

The posters are located in the display case on the left as visitors approach the gatehouse and also directly across the ticket office.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kodomo no hi

by aleks

Yesterday we had another joyful celebration of Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) in Seattle Japanese Garden: the kids were making origami, sun hats, carp sock streamers and created their own zen gardens.

SJG • 5/26/14 - origami and hat making

The children enjoyed feeding the koi fish on the bridge and were entertained by Mimibunko Puppet Theatre performances and Kaze Taiko Drummers; upon leaving they were receiving a sweet Japanese treat (no food in the Garden) to make the memory of the fun last a few minutes longer.

SJG • 5/26/14 - koi feeding

I found this description of Kodomo no hi on Asia Kids Society website - while copying it below I noted  that it included Koinobori Song - something we should incorporate into future celebrations, theach children this sweet song or at least play it by the table where they make koinobori:

SJG • 5/26/14 - my first zen garden

Koinobori Song

Yane yori takai koinobori
Ookii magoi wa otousan
Chiisai higoi wa kodomotachi
Omoshirosouni oyoideru 

The koinobori are higher than the rooftops
The big black carp is the father
The small golden-red carp is the child
How pleasing it is to swim!
Children are stars. Fish fly. Schools have the day off.

Every May 5, it is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" in Japan. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp (a type of fish) for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery.

SJG • 5/26/14 -koinobori making

Children indulge in kashiwa-mochi, sticky rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves, and other sweets. Around the country there are many events for children and families. Children take center stage in traditional Japanese plays. Thousands of children compete in the "Kids' Olympics" held at the National Kasumigaoka Stadium in Tokyo. Children also use the day to thank and show respect for the teachers, parents, and relatives who care for them.

SJG • 5/26/14 - Mimibunko Puppet Theatre

Until 1948, May 5 was called Tango no sekku and only honored boys. A separate holiday called Hinamatsuri or "Dolls' Day" celebrated girls on March 3. […]

SJG • 5/26/14 - Kaze Taiko Drummers

Thursday, May 22, 2014

HAIKU FIELD TRIP to our own Garden - this saturday, May 24th

SJG • 5/13/14 - entrance to the Tea House Garden

Dear friends and poetry lovers,

Do not miss this HAIKU FIELD TRIP to our own Garden. We will gain inspiration from instruction and haiku in the garden. Bring a  sack lunch to enjoy at noon in the TCR during haiku sharing and discussion. Our instructor, Michael Dylan Welch, will lead the class and encourage us as we compose our own haiku.

Meet in the Tateuchi Community Room, Saturday, May 24th, 10 am  - 1pm

Best wishes from your Japanese Garden Event Planning Committee!

 Kobayashi Issa  1814

assari to haru wa ki ni keri asagi-zora

spring comes simply

with a pale blue


Translation by David Lanoue

• Open to volunteers and staff of SJG and their partners/friends (if you need a SJG contact  to attend this class email me, so we can became friends)
• Michael Dylan Welch website - GRACEGUTS here - his work, his bio, appearances and more…
• YES, bring your suck lunch and I'll bring a Bolivian huminta pie (Copacabana restaurant recipe)  in case you are still hungry…

SJG • 5/9/14

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Seattle Butoh Festival 2014

DAIPANbutoh Collective presents:

Seattle Butoh Festival 2014: Spring Solo Fest
May 30 & 31, 2014 •  7:30 pm

$15/$12 single; $25 festival pass

Taoist Studies Institute
225 N 70th St, Seattle WA 98103

The festival will take place at the Taoist Studies Institute in Greenwood, an inspirational refuge of harmony and natural wood surfaces. Four solos each night with featured artists: Sheri Brown, Diana García-Snyder, Kaoru Okumura, Alexander Riding, Alan Sutherland, and Helen Thorsen plus new work choreographed by Joan Laage performed by Katrina Wolfe and Shoko Zama.

Photo credits:Dancer - Shoko Zama, Calligrapher - Yoshiko Higashimura, Photographer - Tomoko Jones

Attention docents:

1.) Coming saturday, May 10, 10am-1pm —May Bloomers Garden Tour—Unit86 Plant List Committee

1.) Re: butoh - we will have a continuing education class Gardening the Body—Art and Practice of Butoh on July 19, Saturday, 10 AM-1 PM; it will be lead by artist Joan Laage, who is also our colleague docent.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

'The wind rises' and upcoming garden tours

by aleks

• 'The wind rises' ( (Kaze tachinu, 2013) is a newest animated film by Hayao Miyazaki, a fictionalized biography of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero;  aircrafts that were used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. It is an utterly beautiful and poignant historical drama about a boy who dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes... Some scenes appear like self-writing haikus: when Jiro walks onto a meadow filled with flowers and grass covered parts of wrecked airplanes after the war reminded me of an old verse by Matsuo Basho: "A thicket of summer grass / Is all that remains / Of the dreams of ancient warriors."

The film has quite limited distribution (about one movie theater per city in our area), so catch it on a big screen while it's still playing at Regal Meridian 16, downtown Seattle. The title of the film comes from a novel of the same name by Tatsuo Hori, who took a line from Paul Valery's poem, "Le vent se Leve, il faut tenter de vivre" – The wind is rising. We must try to live…

SJG • 4/10/14 - Prunus mume,
Japanese apricot in the Orchard
• Garden tour 1: when I was recently researching prunus mume (Japanese apricot) for a post on the bloom blog I contacted a local writer and researcher, Arthur Lee Jacobson ('Wild Plants of Greater Seattle', 'Trees of Seattle', 'Trees of Green Lake' and 5 other books) to let him know that I quoted from his article on prunus mume in my post.  In response the writer  kindly let me know about Arthur Lee Jacobson's Open Garden from noon to 6:00 -  'you can visit my garden in Seattle's Montlake neighborhood'; it's  this coming Sunday, April 27th - very interesting website and invitation here

• Garden tour 2: Don't forget that our Unit86 Plant List group is conducting a class May Bloomers Garden Tour on May 10, Saturday, 10 am for all SJG volunteers, docents and staff. Also, our  Plant Committee prepared a handout for visitors, containing April blooming rhodies and azaleas, available at the Garden Gate; the Early May rhodies edition is coming May 1st, Late May rhodies on May 15th - enjoy them!
SJG • 4/10/14 - royal azaleas blooming under saucer magnolia in area H