Kisetsu: The Year of the Island Garden 2020

Akemashite omedetô gozaimasu! Happy New Year to gardeners everywhere. In 2020, Wellfield Botanic Gardens is celebrating the opening of its newest themed garden, the Japanese-inspired “Island Garden”, a generous gift from Don and Jurate Krabill. The entire year is dedicated to highlighting Japanese culture and its many artistic contributions to the world through a series of special even

ts, drop-in activities, class offerings and displays. Wellfield also welcomes Origami in the Garden2 presented by the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, a traveling art installation featuring 21 unique sculptural pieces creating 17 unique displays around Wellfield’s 36 acres. The exhibit will be on display from May – October. You’ll hear much more about this amazing exhibit soon!

“Kisetsu” translates to season or the time of year. The Japanese have a sensitivity to the ephemeral or impermanence of all things as seasons change, a concept called mono no aware. In other words, the only constant is change itself. It is wonderful to walk the garden on a daily or weekly basis throughout the year watching the subtle and not so subtle natural changes marking the passage of time. Each of our four seasonal shows (Spring Splendor, Sensational Summer, Fabulous Fall, and Winter Wonderland) speak to the elements of seasonality and change throughout the year. In addition to our usual events, Garden guests will be able to participate in seasonal garden events celebrating a particular Japanese festival.

First up is our Winter Celebration Day, an homage to the snow festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan (yuki matsuri), where the most amazing and elaborate ice sculptures are displayed for the general public. Wellfield’s festival on February 9, 2020 will feature Japanese foods, music, and a live ice-sculpting demonstration by ice carver Greg Beachey. Come on out February 9th from 12-3 p.m. and help us celebrate Winter!

2020 at Wellfield promises to be a cross-cultural experience not to be missed. We’re excited to share it all with you. See you at the Gardens!

Josh Steffen, Horticulture and Facilities Manager


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