Fort Worth's Japanese Garden Celebrates 40 Years

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Hours of a spring afternoon passed at the Japanese Garden inside the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are hours spent in lovely serenity.

Opened in spring 1973, the Kingsley Wu-designed Japanese Garden celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. For four decades, it has been a tucked-away spot for quiet meditation, reconnection to nature and family memory-making. Second and third generations of children who remember viewing the fish in the koi pond as wee ones now pose for engagement pictures on the Moon Bridge and plan weddings at the Waterfall Overlook.

"Although in many ways a product of its era, the garden combines physical grandeur and creative vision in a way achieved by few other Japanese gardens in North America," writes author Kendall H. Brown in his book Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America, being released by Tuttle Publishing in late April.

Fort Worth's Japanese Garden is among the 26 examples "of the most beautiful Japanese-style landscaping on foreign soil," the book's publisher says. Gorgeous photography by David M. Cobb captures the beauty of the garden and the architectural interest of its structures.

Though anniversary events won't take place until the fall, Botanic Garden personnel say, the annual Spring Festival in the Japanese Garden on April 20 and 21 will once again bring traditional music and dance of Japan, along with martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremonies and papermaking, to the grounds of the 7-acre garden.

"As with other gardens created on a dramatic scale," writes Brown, "it looks best when filled with people who are enjoying it, and it comes alive with celebratory events."

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