Friday, October 22, 2021

Kubota Garden, Part 1

 Today the sky is gray and heavy with clouds that might leak any minute. That will be the pattern now for days to come. But last Tuesday we knew we were to be blessed with one last beautiful day, and we knew where we needed to go to celebrate that special day. 

You have been there before with me through my photo tours, and I stated before leaving that I would limit my photos this year. I couldn't. There will be several installments, and after this first one, not much text to read.

Kubota Garden was the legacy of Fujitaro Kubota, a Japanese emigrant who in 1927 bought 20 acres of swampland in the Rainier Valley in South Seattle. There he established his nursery and landscape business and became a well known designer of Japanese gardens. He also began to create his own garden on the property. Abandoned for four years during the family's internment in Idaho in the 1940's, he reestablished his garden and business with his sons after the war and maintained it until his death in 1973. In 1987 the property was sold to the City of Seattle and with the support of the Kubota Garden Foundation the garden is now maintained as a public garden. Over the years property has been added and a northwest style has been added to the bones of the Japanese garden that Fujituro Kubota began. The result is a true gem, a beautiful city treasure especially exquisite in October. 











There are many wonderful trees and shrubs in the garden, but of course in October the Japanese maples are the stars of the show. 




The ponds are all  original to the garden. This one has Koi in it. 









There were a lot of people in the garden on Tuesday, and a lot of photographers with big fancy cameras. I, with my iPhone, managed to get most of my photos without people in them.  It took a bit of patience. 






















More to come. 

15 comments:

  1. Linda, this garden is simply stunning. Your iPhone did its job, and I was thrilled to see all the magnificence you captured. I am so glad there is more to come!

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  2. Me, too ... glad there is more to come ... looking forward to it. There is a tree there that looks like a green feathered pagoda!

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  3. Wow! That is beautiful especially at this time of year.

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  4. I love Japanese gardens and this one is beautiful!
    What lovely colours.

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  5. Isn’t it amazing what an iPhone can do these days? I never use my Canon anymore. Your photos are just stunning. I remember your previous trips to Kubota Gardens and it just makes me want to visit it even more someday.

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  6. His families internment for four years is just criminal. That is such a blot on our country.So glad he didn't give up on us. The gardens are stunning and the Japanese Maple really does steal the show.

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  7. I could lose myself in those gardens for hours. It is incredible and a testament to the strength and tenacity of Mr. Kuboto and his family. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I wonder what makes a Japanese garden look so Japanese. The gated entry is one element, and of course those wonderful little bridges, but then what makes it so Japanese, no matter where it is in the world?

    The very scenic Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon has a small Japanese section with maple, gingko, and other trees and shrubs that look and feel very Japanese. I can't put my finger on why that is.

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    1. I am not an expert on Japanese gardening but I know a few things and have observed quite a few. Tom has also taught be some things.
      Japanese gardening has perfected the art of miniaturizing the natural landscape. Japan is a small country with a large population. Space is rare and precious. They do love gardens though, so they have learned to create what would seem to be a large garden in a small space. This is achieved by careful plant selection, precision placement, and use of space and sight lines. Small trees mimic large trees by careful pruning. Ponds and streams reflect plants and give the illusion of more space. Bridges, stepping stones, and curving pathways cause the visitor to slow down. There are no long vistas in Japanese gardens. Sight lines are kept short. Stones and plants are all placed with precision to create balance that is pleasing to the eye close up. That's just some of what there is to know about Japanese gardens.
      So yes, they do all have a similar look because they are built following rules.

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    2. Very interesting, and it makes sense. I used to fly into Narita airport and our layovers were in Narita town. Back then (not sure about now), many of the shops that lined the streets were also where the shop owners lived and I would sometimes go to the very back of the store and get a peek at wonderful little gardens that were magical. They were like miniature parks with miniature bridges and a small koi pond. Moss would cover trees and ground. So very enjoyable.

      I love to bonsai the trees at home even though they aren't meant to be trimmed. My poor mango tree goes on strike and doesn't give me much in yield at all. I bonsai bouganvillea branches, guava trees, kukui trees. Poor things. Our yard is small and I collect plants so even though I bonsai everything in sight, it does not feel or look Japanese. More like tortured, lol.

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  9. Stunning. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Very colourful! What an eye candy?

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  11. Wow such awesome Fall color, the Japanese Maples are something else!

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  12. That is a lot of photos! You must have spent a lot of time uploading. I really would love to visit that garden...more so because of the history.

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    1. My iPhone uploads automatically to my desktop computer through iCloud. Then I just go in and cull or edit. My my new iPhone 12 I do very little editing now.

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