The Shinzen Friendship Garden’s Spring Blossom Festival and Bonsai Show originally scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27 has been cancelled due to weather. What better way to make up for this watery fact than to provide a little color from photos I took at last years’ event. There is a slideshow of all the photos at the end.
In the beginning, the idea was proposed to create a Japanese garden complete with stone lanterns and a teahouse to be dedicated to Fresno’s Sister City Kochi, Japan, as a symbol of friendship and international brotherhood.
Paul Saito, a landscape architect from Orange County, California, was chosen to design the Garden. He was assisted by a master teahouse designer from Japan, Shiro Nakagawa. The Garden was planned around the four seasons, with distinctive plantings in each area.
Stream beds with waterfalls, seven bridges, including the stone double-moon bridge for double the good luck, and the Koi Pond were constructed. Paved and decomposed granite pathways lead you through the Spring section where azaleas, camellias, crabapples, irises, flowering cherries and daffodils are a delight.
A peacock glides through the park, sometimes perching on the roof of the entrance. The calm waters of the Koi Pond are the centerpiece of the Summer section. Tulip trees, Chinese pistache and Japanese maple trees emblazon their bright fall colors in the Autumn garden.
A large waterfall, pines and evergreens command the Winter Section. An authentic thatched-roof teahouse was added to the garden. It was built in Japan and re-assembled in the Spring garden on the lake shore.
The beautiful and serene 5-acre Shinzen Friendship Garden located within Woodward Park adjacent to Freeway 41 in the City of Fresno, California.