Gardens for Very good tour presents levels of cultivated natural beauty – Medford Information, Weather conditions, Sports, Breaking News

Photo by Rhonda Nowak Lionel and Garin have dozens of koi in 1 of a few ponds in their yard. 1 of the fish is about 45 decades previous.

“Over countless numbers of several years, the sculpting of Japanese back garden trees, or niwaki, has become a finely honed art with a distinct set of pruning approaches intended to coax out the trees’ critical qualities.”

— Jake Hobson, “Niwaki: Pruning, Instruction and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way,” 2007

This 7 days I had the satisfaction of assembly Lionel Cunningham and Garin Bakle whilst going to their Japanese/Asian-influenced backyard at their dwelling in the Rogue Valley Region Club community. Their backyard is 1 of eight that will be showcased in this year’s Gardens for Fantastic tour hosted May possibly 14 by the North Valley chapter of Soroptimists Global.

Lionel and Garin’s yard is named Toriniwa, the “Bird Garden,” and covers about an acre of land all over their mid-century residence, which functions an imported Japanese blue tile roof and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the back garden from just about every place and Roxy Ann Peak and Mount Ashland as backdrops.

“I’ve generally liked Japanese gardens,” Garin explained. “Every residence I’ve lived in, I have had some form of a Japanese backyard garden.” He shares that enthusiasm with Lionel, and since they acquired their household in 2000 they have gradually turned the yard into a meditative oasis that captivates all the senses.

When site visitors come into the yard by means of the Japanese entry gate built from cedar, they enter 9 back garden spaces that embody the classic aspects of a Japanese back garden: drinking water, stone, plants, bridges and lanterns. In addition, care has been taken to incorporate five necessary Japanese design concepts: asymmetry, enclosure, borrowed landscapes, harmony and symbolism.

The tranquil sounds of waterfalls and wind chimes accompany a stroll across the stone footbridge and by way of the pond backyard garden, which features a h2o lily pond at the major stage, a goldfish pond in the middle, and a reduced koi pond with a dragon fountain that spits h2o at the brightly coloured carp.

Lionel and Garin mentioned that koi fish can are living up to 60 a long time. In Japanese society, koi symbolize courage, energy, endurance and results via perseverance. The pond was constructed with rocks at the base so the fish can conceal from herons and raccoons. Through the winter, koi enter a condition of hibernation termed torpor, which will allow them to acclimate to the chilly.

“Koi fish are the ideal pets if you are gone for the winter because you quit feeding them when the temperature falls down below 55 degrees,” Garin and Lionel stated. They commit the winter season in Mexico and get started feeding the fish again when they return in spring.

Surrounding the ponds are other yard spaces: a raked sand garden, moss backyard, meditation backyard, Zen backyard garden, rock yard, chrysanthemum garden, maple-rhododendron-fern yard, and a serenity deck. Put during the gardens are attractive Japanese lanterns, a 900-pound marble Buddha, and a double gong stand.

Garin significantly enjoys growing bonsai, and there are extra than 50 on screen in the bonsai home at the back again of the assets. Garin confirmed me 1 of his favored bonsai, a miniature conifer with a moss ground. “When you search into it, it is like looking down a trail in a forest,” he claimed.

Bonsai is not just an art form the lengthy-expression procedure of developing and shaping a bonsai tree is a way of practising tolerance and reflection.

But it’s not just the bonsai that are thoroughly properly trained. The yard is stuffed with unique species of Japanese maples, rhododendrons, wisteria, hydrangeas, peonies and several extra that are carefully pruned by landscape architect Jerry Several, who has worked with Lionel and Garin for 4 several years. Jerry specializes in a Japanese model of pruning called “niwaki,” which is translated in English as “garden trees.” Pruning, or sculpting, trees is another necessary facet of classic Japanese gardening. Yet again, it’s not just the stop result that is significant, it is also about the contemplative approach of getting familiar with the plant and its organic expansion routine.

“It’s genuinely vital to know the vegetation you’re doing work with and what you’re hoping to produce from them — to know what that plant needs to search like the natural way and then mix it into the landscape,” Jerry claimed.

Jerry prunes branches and foliage in levels so sunlight filters as a result of the leaves. By strategic sculpting, he creates the outcome of floating branches and flowers that look to dance in the wind.

These days, Lionel and Garin go away most of the pruning to Jerry and their arborist, Jimmy Lindenberger, and are joyful to do the light gardening tasks “that in no way seem to be to conclude.” In 2019, they retired from possessing and running the Cripple Creek Music Company in Ashland, and since then have been having fun with functioning on household and back garden renovation initiatives and investing time in Puerto Vallarta.

The Soroptimist’s garden tour contains 7 other gardens in Medford, Expertise and Ashland. Right after a two-12 months hiatus, the tour will choose position from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 14.

The tour is the Soroptimist’s key fundraiser that supports community ladies and women in accomplishing their instructional and experienced objectives. Tour tickets are $20 just about every and can be ordered as a result of Might 13 at any Rogue Valley Grange Co-op or the Blue Door Yard Shop in Jacksonville. Tickets are available Could 14 at Roxy Ann Winery from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional facts, see

Correction: In previous week’s column about Joan Thorndike and Le Mera Gardens, the story ought to have reported Joan moved right here in 1984, and her husband, Dan, was born in the Rogue Valley.

Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, trainer, and author. She is the founder of the Bard’s Back garden at Hanley Farm in Central Position. Find out a lot more at, and e mail Rhonda at

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