8/30/08

Hakone Garden

We visited the Hakone Japanese garden in Saratoga today, about 45 minutes south of San Francisco.

But first, I took a picture of the most massive Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea) I've ever seen across from the street from the Starbuck's there.

Pinus pinea

Hakone Garden dates back to 1918 when a pair of wealthy San Franciscans bought 18 acres of mixed oak-redwood forest on a logged out hillside. They hired Japanese architects and designers to build the garden; construction was completed by 1929. Ownership passed through different hands until 1966 when the city of Saratoga bought the property for $145,000. In 2000, the gardens were turned over to the private Hakone Foundation set up with seed money from the Packards. Admission is $5.

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Lots of turtles and fish in the pond.

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With all that algae, the water was probably getting slightly anaerobic. There was a lot of action by the waterfall.

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Some of the Japanese maples have massive trunks.

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And this wisteria allee was quite something.

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Lots of interesting conifer dwarfing going on.

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Can you see the bamboo and twine trusses used to shape the plant?

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I should like to try that myself one day.

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Behind the garden, the landscape reverts back to California.

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

So how did you like Hakone Gardens? I've never been there, believe it or not. I think I'd like to, maybe to get ideas. Where I have been is that area where you say "the landscape reverts back to California". Or quite close to that spot at any rate. I love it.

Emma

Ewa said...

Very interesting place.
These wisterias are showing their real power.
Ewa

Frances, said...

Hi chuck, I imagine you would be very attracted to the Japanese style of gardening, with your attention to minute detail. I do love the evergreens and water, so serene.

Kim said...

That's a beautiful garden I probably will never get to visit. Thank you for sharing it so I could see its beauty, too. I agree with Ewa - the power of the wisteria is evident in the photos.

cindee said...

What a pretty place. The water was a tad green for me though(-:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

WOW. That's amazing... and the way the wisteria is trying its best to take down that huge wood-and-bamboo structure is awe-inspiring.

But I think that my favorite is the porch. I want to make my porch look like that.

lisa said...

Beautiful! I just love these gardens that have been established for so long...very cool to see such mature specimens. I hope my wisteria wants to look like that when it grows up!