Stroll Through Japan In Mill Neck

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A bonsai tree that is featured in the garden. (Photos by Anthony Murray)

If you have a love of nature and Japanese culture, then there isn’t a better place to reflect and explore than the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden that is nestled away in the quaint village of Mill Neck.

Unique to the North Shore of Long Island, the inspiration behind the seven-acre garden came from U.S. ambassador to Austria and lawyer, John P. Humes, who visited international clients he had in Japan.

“John P. Humes and his wife visited Japan and were inspired by their visit in 1960,” said Lisa Ott, the CEO and president of the North Shore Land Alliance, which took over the Japanese Strolling Garden last year. “They spent the next four years transforming a wooded corner of their estate into a meditative Japanese landscape.”

The views, textures and compositional elements within the garden have been balanced according to Japanese aesthetic principles. One defining feature of the garden is its stepping stone path that is inspired by the many mountain trails that can be found in Japan. Another defining feature within the garden is the imported pond side teahouse, which is only open for ceremonial tea events.

According to Ott, it’s the combination of the plants and the fixture of the land that makes the garden unique. The historic garden also boasts an impressive collection of North American and Asian plants that constitute a beautiful Japanese landscape and meditative experience for everyone.

“We also have many events that are open to the public for the opening season,” said Ott.
Throughout the summer, the Japanese Stroll Garden will host bonsai tree techniques, demonstrations and displays as well as a northeastern landscape bamboo walk.

The John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through late October.

For more information about the North Shore Land Alliance and the garden itself, visit www.northshorelandalliance.org.

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