Japanese Garden breaks ground in Louisville, KY

The $22 million project will take about 24 months to complete.

A line of people in suits + hardhats stand behind a mound of dirt with Japanese knives in their hands preparing to scoop the dirt.

The Japanese Garden designer Shiro Nakane attended the ground breaking ceremony.

Photo by LOUtoday

Yesterday, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens broke ground on its two-acre Japanese Garden designed by world-renowned Shiro Nakane of Nakane & Associates.

Gov. Andy Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer were in attendance + during the ceremony, Louisville-based rolled aluminum distributor, Tri-Arrows Aluminum, pledged $1 million to the $22 million project.

Over the next 24 months, Perkins+Will, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens architecture firm, will assist in the construction a traditional Japanese Tea House, a summer house, a Zen garden, a bonsai garden + a zig-zag bridge over a small pond near the Graeser Family Education Center at 1435 Frankfort Ave.

The public garden will introduce the 502 to the Japanese tea ceremony — an important Japanese cultural tradition that involves preparing, serving, and drinking tea to create a bond between the host + guest. For many years, it was a practice reserved only for Japan’s elite zen monks and nobles.

Other garden features include:

  • 30 trees donated by Tommy McCurry + the Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Cornelian cherry trees — a type of flowering dogwood tree
  • A winding path with garden “rooms” for visitors to rest and contemplate bonsai artwork
  • Large plaza for educational and social gatherings

Celebrate Japanese culture in Louisville by attending the Japanese Gala tomorrow, Sat., Oct. 1 or the Bento Box Demonstration on Tues., Oct. 18.