Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tour of the Storrier-Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena

This month's Plant Information Class was a tour of the Storrier-Stearns Japanese garden; one of the largest private Japanese gardens in the United States. Besides being a gorgeous garden in its own right it is one of the best examples of Japanese garden design in the United States. When you walk through this garden you begin to notice that every 30-50 feet completely new vistas open up, providing an experience where you can feel like you're looking at a different garden wherever you walk. Owner Jim Haddad showed us the garden's 10,000 gallon rainwater recycling system and explained steps the garden was taking to become more sustainable. One of the most interesting things I found out about the garden was Jim's use of Dymondia margaritae, an extremely water saving South African ground cover, as an lawn substitute. We spent almost two hours touring the garden, and could have spent more.
Tea house. 

Terrifying guard-cat. 

Path to the tea house. 

Jim Haddad explains the tea house's finely detailed wooden cut-outs. 

Jim Haddad  talking about the tea house's craftsmanship. 

One of the many fine views; this one from the top of the small hill created when the pond was excavated. 

View looking east; notice the lawn-like area consisting of Dymondia margaretae.

View of the tea house from the north. 

Stone lantern overlooks a peaceful view. 

Class members listen to Jim explaining the construction of  the tea house. 
Interior view of tea house.
Squash growing on compost bin. 

The man-hole covers cap a 10,000 gallon rainwater recycling tank. 

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