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This year, as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Seattle Japanese Garden, two volunteer guides—Shizue Prochaska and Julie Coryell—are putting the finishing touches on a collection of articles about the creation of the Garden by its original designers and builders. Most of the articles are from Japanese publications and have been translated into English for the first time for this project.

In our summer special issue of the Arboretum Bulletin, we’ve excerpted three of these articles. Designer Kiyhoshi Inoshita provides an outline of the plan for the garden and its scenic beauty; designer Juki Iida writes about acquiring and installing the garden’s plants and rocks; and garden engineer Nobumasa Kitamura discusses the use of heavy machinery during the construction phase.

Written with insight and humor, the articles offer a new, behind-the-scenes look at the construction of one of the most celebrated Japanese gardens outside of Japan.