Masa Mizuno Workshop Retrospective

Our 5th annual Japanese Pruning workshop with Masa Mizuno was one of the best to date!

Hosted at the lovely home of David Welton and Georgia Edwards, a lively group of participants was once again privileged to witness the magic transformations that Master Gardener Masa Mizuno is able to bring about with such simplicity and matter-of-factness.

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Lessons learned included how to reveal the true nature of each plant while bringing harmony to the whole; how to strengthen what is already beautiful and unique while keeping balance and allowing for future development and growth; how to utilize the artful skill developed by centuries of Japanese masters to bring out traits in the landscape such as simplicity, naturalness, subtlety, and a preference for asymmetry and imperfection; and the use of suggestion rather than explicit description. Many were moved to realize that Japanese pruning is much more than “just” a gardening art!

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These values were conveyed through a series of fascinating demonstrations, in which Mizuno and his assistant Samuel Hendrix pruned a tall larch, a Japanese black pine, an umbrella pine, and a Japanese red lace-leaf maple, and moved a one-ton rock using a tripod – all while explaining the process and answering  specific questions from participants.

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The weather was superb and the gardens and gracious terraces a great place to visit, relax, and make new friends.

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The event’s Japanese luncheon featured five kinds of sushi, as well as salmon, shrimp, various Japanese salads, and noodles, and was topped off by a delicious home-made grapefruit ice-cream and matcha shortbread cookies.

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The event was attended by 49 participants and raised a grand total of $2,600, all of which will benefit NWLA’s summer camp and youth programs scholarship fund. NWLA is committed to providing its  language and cultural classes to all children regardless of ability to pay, and attendance at events such as this one helps to make this commitment possible.

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Thank you to all who participated and made the event such a success. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

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All photos by David Welton.