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Cleaning up the Japanese Garden

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
by Will Olson | Horticulture Intern

The Japanese Garden was renovated five years ago by intern,Tyler Ziegert, rejuvenating the space in front of the European Goff Larch on the South side of the Dean's Residence. This garden showcases the elegant design and ideals of a traditional Japanese Garden, using a beautiful dry river bed to guide the eye from left to right through the entire space.
At the beginning of the summer –my second season as an intern– I took an interest in this space. I did some research on Japanese Gardens and dove in to the space!
As gardens age, the challenge of editing becomes the greatest opportunity. I began by thinning some of the Hosta plants and overgrown grasses, exposing the beautiful dry river bed.
I also wanted to re-introduce a Japanese Maple to the space. The originalspecimens in this garden wdid not survive our Wisconsin winters. I did some reseach and found that a 'Tamukeyama' Japanese Cut leaf Maple is hardier in our zone. To ensure the survival of this specimen, it may be necessary to wrap it in burlap and stuff this wrapping with straw for the first couple of winters. This will protect the tree from the cold winds.
I also introduced some new plantings around the border and cleaned up the edges of the river bed. I laid bark mulch nuggets on the edge of the plantings, like some traditional Japanese Gardens do. This helped define clean lines to guide your eye through the garden. 
Come check out the new plantings! You will find the Japanese Garden on the North side of the Goff Larch.


The Allen Centennial Garden and its programs are funded entirely through private support - it receives no state or tuition dollars. To help support the Garden and continue to make our projects and programs possible, please consider a donation.  

Tags: Garden Display and Design

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Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706

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