Japanese Gardening Organization

Resources for Japanese Gardening 日本の園芸
Sharing the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities and society.
Providing resources to foster the exchange of culture, knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening.
Striving for the highest level of accurate information and resources for Japanese gardening.

The Japanese Gardening Organization is a multinational, non-profit organization spreading the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities, and society. Our Goal is to promote the advancement of the knowledge, appreciation, and application of Japanese gardening through online resources and programs with roots in international resources and expertise.

The Japanese Gardening Organization proudly presents:



The dry landscape at Meigetsu-in, Kamakura.

by Andrew R. Deane

PART ONE:  DESIGN & CRAFT is the first of 5 parts in this comprehensive work on Japanese Gardens.  Here we explore the aesthetics, artistic principles, garden types, designers, builders, and the transference of this knowledge.  JGO will be presenting the remaining parts as discussion topics in both dynamic online formats (see WIKI in the link below) and live interactive events.  See Part One below:



Pushing The Line – A Theoretical Approach to Raking a Karesansui Garden


“Daitokuji” copyright 2005 datigz and made available under an Attribution-Non-Commercial Share Alike Licence 2.0

Imagine that someone has wiped clean the pattern in the gravel at Ryoanji and handed you the rake with the instructions, “Make whatever pattern you think best.”  What pattern would you rake? What patterns wouldn’t you dare to rake, and why not? What would you do in this situation?

In Part II of the treatise on raking the sands of karesansui, Martin McKellar and Andrew R. Deane describe a journey of discovery, both personal and professional, in pursuit of understanding the meaning and methods of raking the sands of karesansui.

 Read More

JGO welcomes submissions of articles and essays for consideration.   Send to [email protected]

See also the article on a private Japanese garden under





The Japanese Garden of Terry Gerlach

Terrys Japanese Garden

Besides participating in Japanese Gardening Organization’s forums and managing the event calendar, Terry also volunteers for Portland’s Japanese Garden and is an avid Japanese gardener himself.  In the late 1990’s, he was presented with what he refers to as “an opportunity” when construction on a nearby road destroyed his entire landscape.  Take a tour of Terry’s garden and watch a short video on the maintenance of his garden at The Japanese Garden of Terry Gerlach.


2016 Biennial Conference -


Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden, Delrey Beach, Florida

 MARCH 7-8, 2016


NAJGA’s next event is the 2016 international conference, “Towards a Healthier World: Japanese Gardens as Places for Wellness and Transformation.” It will be held on March 6-8, 2016 at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden, Delrey Beach, Florida. The conference will feature lectures, garden design and photography workshops, and guided garden “strolls for well being.” Speakers come from Japan, Canada, the USA and Europe. Registration will open mid-November on the najga.org.




Dear JGO Friends!


As the president of the Japanese Gardening Organization, I smile when I think of all the sharing, discussion and learning we have done over the past 13 years. I take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Japanese Gardening Organization, its resources on this website, and past projects.

As you know, Japanese Gardening Organization (JGO) was created to advance the knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening, not only for their beauty and aesthetics, but also to promote their restorative effects on mental and physical health and recovery for individuals, communities and society. Since its origin, JGO has developed resources for Japanese gardening enthusiasts of all levels. Through these resources, professionals in the field share their knowledge and passion so that others may build, nurture and enjoy Japanese gardens around the world. Nowhere is our mission more evident than in this web resources and the JGO forums with 900 members and over 16,000 posts on all aspects of Japanese gardening. Members from around the world and all levels of interest share thoughts, questions and opinions on everything from cultural, historic, theoretical, to such practical how to’s as placing stones and pruning an overgrown pine.

Last year, JGO embarked on several new initiatives including:

  • Japanese Gardening Book Reviews reviewed and summarized by fellow Japanese gardeners.
  • Professional Guest Writers share their experiences in articles and how-to’s.
  • Japanese Garden Reviews includes photos and information on gardens around the world.
  • Social Media Network starting with Facebook, JGO shares news and events via social networks.
  • Improved Online Resources including new, faster servers on a secure network, increased limits for forum posts and graphics, and the ability to stream audio and video.

This year we continue with the goal of developing these existing assets while working toward live and local outreach events. Some of this year’s goals are:

  • A Japanese Garden Handbook - encyclopedic resource on every aspect of the art of Japanese gardening.
  • Japanese Gardening Publications Database - searchable database of Japanese gardening publications.
  • World Japanese Gardens Database with photos, history, location and admission information.
  • Social Media focus for sharing inspiration, information, news, and discovering the needs of the Japanese gardening world to provide insight for growth, outreach and development, and to create networks and partnerships around the globe.

Today, I am writing to ask for your support in achieving these goals.  JGO is a 100% volunteer funded and operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Just like a garden needs fertilizer, water and care to stay beautiful, JGO needs your support to endure and grow. Your support is a vote of confidence in our organization that will help us continue to improve and grow. 

Please make your donation today.  Its a vote of confidence in the organization and it lets us know you support the work and the mission.

Thank you for your support!

Don Pylant
President, Japanese Gardening Organization

Japanese Gardening Reference

Japanese toolsLearn how to tie a knot for bamboo fences, or decide what tools you need. JGO Reference section includes articles on theory, design and how-to’s on construction, plants, pruning, lanterns, stones, garden terminology and more.

Gardening Reference Library

Japanese Gardening Forums

Black pine care15,000 entries by 800 Japanese Gardening enthusiasts around the world. The Japanese Garden Forum discussion boards include history, design & construction, maintenance, plants, stone, water, bamboo fences, structures, and more.

The Forums

Events & Education

Bamboo fenceLearn how to work with bamboo, prune pines, or build a Japanese garden in events around the world in the events calendar and via discussions in the Japanese gardening forums.

Events Calendar

Japanese Garden Search

Japanese Garden SearchDiscover Japanese gardens on almost every continent in this comprehensive database.  Search by keywords to narrow your hunt.  Includes location, garden info, photos and more.

Japanese Garden Search

Japanese Garden Publications

Building a library or just researching how to build your dry landscape? Search books and publications on Japanese gardening here.  You can also find reviews on Japanese gardening books and purchase them with a percentage going to support JGO at no addition cost!

Publication Search

Japanese Garden Marketplace

Find Japanese garden tools, garden designers, contractors and suppliers in this resource.  Remember that by using these links and contractors, you are contributing to Japanese Gardening Organization and helping it grow.

Japanese Garden Marketplace

Special Sections

Chaji - A Formal Tea Ceremony

A wonderful five part series on the “Way of Tea” by Elliot Mitchnick, Associate Professor of Urasenke, the 400 year old tradition of Tea headquartered in Kyoto, Japan is presented in Chaji, A Formal Tea Ceremony. (If you have Japanese enabled on your browser, you will see most tea terms with their kanji. In addition, most terms have definitions available by holding your mouse over the word.)

Chaji - Formal Tea Ceremony

Ka-tei, Japanese Architecture, Japanese Garden

The essential relationship between architecture and garden is discussed in Ka-tei,  Japanese Architecture, Japanese Garden.  Japanese carpenter, Chris Hall, gives an overview of the relationships between house and garden in traditional Japanese residential architecture. (If you have Japanese enabled on your browser, you will see most terms with their kanji, and most terms have definitions available by holding your mouse over the word.)

Japanese Architecture-Japanese Garden

Sister City Garden Virtual Tour

A profile of a sister city garden, Kumamoto En Japanese Garden,  created in partnership with Japanese designers and craftsmen and US craftsmen. This is a detailed  walking tour with the names and descriptions of the garden features linked to definitions,  English, Romaji, and Kanji names as well.

Kumamoto-en, Sister City Garden

Doubt ...

Japanese garden designer, Mark Bourne, reflects on his experience as apprentice to a Master gardener in Kyoto in “DOUBT, Learning to see the Japanese Garden.

Doubt by Mark Bourne

US Japanese Gardens Tour

K.T. Cannon-Eger and husband Bill traveled by rail across the United States to visit dozens of Japanese Gardens. Follow their adventure in their blog U.S. Japanese Gardens

US Japanese Gardens Tour

Wow –  impressive number of people interested in Japanese Gardening.  So many questions, answers and ideas happen here through literally thousands of conversations!  Where else you would find this conversation?  But this last number - the only ones paying the bill –  is a little worrying.  There are no huge corporate sponsors, only us.  Please help bump this number up.  JGO is 100% non-profit and every dollar goes to development and sustaining the resources.


The Japanese Gardening Organization (JGO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization spreading the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities, and society.  JGO provides educational resources to foster the exchange of culture, knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening, striving for the highest level of accurate information and resources for Japanese gardening. This organization is supported completely by donations. Your gifts are tax deductible.

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