Closed Nov 1 - Mar 1
9am - 5pm Mar 1 - June 1, Sept 1 - Nov 1
9am - 8pm June 2 - Aug 31
Added to JGarden:
The garden covers three acres behind Bennett Fountain on Queensway (just off Water Street) near the downtown, not far from the Railway Station. It includes a pond, waterfall, and stone garden covering three acres. It was built as part of a sister-city relationship with Kasugai, Japan.
This is an amazing garden. It lies inside a walled enclosure next to the City Hall of Kelowna, British Columbia. If you drove by on the nearby commercial street, you'd never realize it was even there. You need to walk by the large Bennett Fountain with its skateboarding denizens, down the tree-lined path between the walls and the City Hall to the large wooden gates, marked by a dedication plaque. The garden itself is lively with a diversity of people and animals. On the day I was there, I saw people visiting City Hall, middle school students on their way home filling up plastic water bottles along the way,a homeless person drinking out the bamboo fountain, a couple with their children strolling the paths, rollerblading thrashers drinking beer behind the reeds along the stream, ducks, koi and chipmunks. In other words, this isn't a precious garden that's been either exoticized or put on an artistic pedestal. Rather, it is part of the everyday life of the citizens of Kelowna.
The garden is a well-designed example of a Japanese-inspired garden. It beautifully integrates stone, water, plants, walls, paths and people. It's design encompasses many possible interpretations and, thankfully, there are no signs explaining how we should interpret the space. A path meanders along the outside edge of the entire space. As you enter , the path begins with a dry garden on the right. This then continues around counterclockwise around one side of a reed-enshrouded stream, across a small bridge to the other side of the stream and then along the wall opposite from the entrance. A larger bridge presents itself part way along the walk, giving you a choice of continuing in this circular path or of cutting back to the opposite side. The far end of the garden includes a waterfall that cascades over rocks into a large pond. The path circles around the pond and back toward the entrance, passing by a pavilion, a bamboo fountain and other features along the way.
Visited 1 September 2000, 3pm.
Japan a great stone garden in the sea.
Echoes of hoes and weeding,
Centuries of leading hill-creeks down
To ditch and pool in fragile knee deep fields.
Leafy sunshine rustling on a man
Chipping a foot-square rough hinoki beam;
I thought I heard an axe chop in the woods
It broke the dream; and woke up dreaming on a train.
It must have been a thousand years ago
In some old mountain sawmill of Japan.
A horde of excess poets and unwed girls
And I that night prowled Tokyo like a bear
Tracking the human future
Of intelligence and despair.