Kodai Nakazawa, the horticultural genius behind our current exhibition, Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden, learned his trade at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. And while it might be hard for you to replicate his genius at home (11 months of careful tending to one single plant would probably be challenging to all but the most dedicated of home gardeners, disregarding entirely the fact that some of these plants are huge!), that doesn’t mean you can’t replicate a little bit of Japan’s amazing horticultural heritage at home, and we’re setting out to prove it.
During the months of October and November, the NYBG’s acclaimed adult education program is offering a selection of classes dedicated to teaching you a variety of Japanese gardening traditions.
For the apartment-bound, two of these classes are especially apt, focusing on small, contained horticultural pursuits. Ikebana: A Comprehensive Approach explores a floral arranging technique that will have you rethinking your bodega flowers in glorious, and minimalist, new ways. Almost everyone has heard of bonsai, but do you know what it really takes to create and care for one of these miniature trees? Our Japanese Maple Bonsai Workshop will introduce you to the concepts and techniques behind this beautiful and long lived art.
For those lucky enough to have an outdoor space in the city, Japanese gardening techniques are a wonderful way to maximize space and create a calming, beautiful landscape. Explore the centuries of tradition behind these techniques in Adapting the Japanese Garden for the American Landscape. The Japanese are famous for using stone as an essential component in their landscape designs, and it’s a useful trick for any amateur landscaper that you will learn all about in Stonework in the Garden.
Of course, if class isn’t your thing, the Garden’s 250-acres are a textbook of gardening ideas, and Kiku is no exception. This kaleidoscopic exhibition will open your eyes to the beauty of the chrysanthemum, rescuing this humble flower from it’s reputation as a hardware store fall decorating staple. After one visit you’ll never look at chrysanthemums in the same way, and you might just find yourself dashing out to buy a few to add color to your front porch.
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