Friday, February 23 , 2018, 2:46 am | Fair 47º


Lotusland Receives $1.8 Million Japanese Garden Grant From Hind Foundation

Ganna Walska Lotusland is pleased to announce a $1.8 million grant from the Hind Foundation to Lotusland’s Japanese Garden Renovation campaign: Restoring Body & Spirit. 

This generous grant will be used for garden path modifications and accompanying retrofits, creating greater access for all visitors, especially those with disabilities. The renovation will allow access to the Japanese Garden and adjacent gardens and will meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities act. 

Lotusland’s president of the board of trustees, Connie Pearcy, said, “The Hind Foundation’s generosity helps us move forward in accomplishing the important task of opening the Japanese Garden to those who might not otherwise be able to experience the peace, tranquility and renewing nature of this wonderful environment. Their commitment to Lotusland ensures that the Japanese Garden will be open and inviting to all individuals.” 

Since the late 1800s several layers of history have been represented on the site where Madame Walska fulfilled her unique vision for a Japanese-styled garden.

Built in the 1960s within a deep earthen bowl and around an existing pond and path system, the Japanese Garden is the largest garden at Lotusland.  

Walska’s plans were implemented by stone mason Oswald “Ozzie” Da Ros and lead gardener and aesthetic pruner Frank Fujii. Through their ongoing collaboration the garden continued to evolve over the years. 

Lotusland’s Japanese Garden is an important historical example of the type of Japanese-style garden built on American private estates after World War II and is the only Japanese-style garden open to the public between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. 

Lotusland’s Japanese Garden Renovation project will address the following pressing needs:

» Repair the garden’s aging infrastructure, including rebuilding and lining the pond, restoring original plant collections, unifying the historic layers and addressing the current and future use as a public space and that all elements are seamlessly connected.

» Sustain Madame Walska’s vision for the garden and fulfill the uncompleted plans by her first and only Japanese garden designer, Frank Fujii, to provide visitors with sweeping vistas, close contact with lotuses and intimate spaces to rest, relax and contemplate.

» Create greater access and safer paths for all visitors, especially those with disabilities, through the Japanese Garden and adjacent gardens to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

» Create gathering points along the paths for visitors to pause and experience the garden more deeply and provide space for future programming that is currently not possible.

» Create an endowment, dedicated solely to the perpetual care of the garden, ensuring that Lotusland’s revived Japanese Garden continues to provide visitors, current and future, with a tranquil, meditative and inspiring experience.

Bob Craig is director of marketing at Ganna Walska Lotusland.

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