Newly renovated Ashland Japanese Garden opens Saturday
A unique garden in downtown Ashland’s Lithia Park is reopening this weekend after a two-year renovation. The Ashland Japanese Garden was created in 1916.
The newly renovated Japanese garden will open its doors on Saturday. It went through a dramatic update to create an authentic Japanese garden experience.
The garden was first opened in 1916 as part of the original design for Ashland’s Lithia Park.
Ashland Parks and Recreation Director Michael Black says it’s gone through several iterations.
"This garden has had a lot of care over the years and has been slowly graduating up through the ranks to the point where it is now an authentic Japanese garden," he says.
Black says the garden features several different types of landscapes including a tea garden, bamboo forest, and a sand and stone zen garden.
The new garden was designed by Toru Tanaka, the former director of the Portland Japanese Garden.
“The thing that we want the most is just getting people through the gates; get them to be able to experience what we’ve created here, what Toru Tanaka, the designer, has created, and what we have put here for them to enjoy," Black says. "That’s really what the garden is about.”
As part of the renovation, Black says some of the existing trees were preserved, including Japanese maples planted in the 1980s.
Funding for construction came from a $1.3 million donation in honor of the late Béatrice Marechal, who frequented the park with her husband, according to Black.
The garden will officially reopen this Saturday with live music, self-guided tours and a bonsai exhibit.
After the grand opening, the garden will be open from 7 AM until sunset.