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UPDATE MAY 2016

On Sunday, May 15, from 2 - 6 pm, the real Mitsuko En will be open as part of The Garden Conservancy Open Day Tours.

Check it out on the Conservancy webpage or the AA E-Zine calendar.

 

Dr. Kendall Brown recommended four garden designers. Dr. Brown spoke at the Wang Center last year and is the author of Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America. He is Professor of Asian Art History at Cal State Long Beach and President of the North American Japanese Garden Association.

The first donation was received from one of Dr Collver's grad TA's who was married in Mitsuko En and there have been more donation offers but acceptance is on hold pending a formal fund being set up in the Stony Brook Foundation.

 

WANTED: LOVERS OF JAPANESE GARDENS

 

Help turn the back lawn area of the Charles B. Wang Asian/American Center into Misuko En - a beautiful Kyoto style flowering Japanese garden.

Pictured above, and within walking distance of campus, is just such a traditional garden. It was created by Sociology Professor Emeritus Andy Collver for his wife Mitsuko. He started it over 45 years ago and each year added to it, pruned and shaped it, all to keep the love of his life happy. It is called Mitsuko En. You can see more photos of it here.

 

Mitsuko was also an integral part of the University community. As a librarian in the Melville Library, she conceived and built one of the first serials departments anywhere in the US and before her retirement was head of Special Collections. But she was most well known for providing beautiful ikebana floral arrangements for events from her garden.

 

Mitsuko passed away in 2013 and Andy, also in his 80's, wanted to somehow keep Misuko En alive. His first dream was to donate it to the University to be used by visiting scholars. But since the property is one house away from the University and therefore not contiguous, as well as no department having the money to ensure its upkeep, that plan hasn't gotten far.

 

So, in talking to Jinyoung Jin of the Wang AAC, a new idea is percolating - to recreate Mitsuko En in the large, rarely used area next to the koi pond behind the theatre. You can see the plans while in Wang at the February Explore History: Objects from Asia Exhibit: Mitsuko's Garden - A Bit of Kyota in Stony Brook.

But alas, the Wang AAC is broke - it has no endowment - so Andy has two options:


a) Find a rich lover of Japanese gardens to donate the costs - or at least matching funds.

or

 

b) Do an online crowd funding campaign a la Bernie Sanders style - as Andy calls it - "a people's garden". This needs a tech savvy student, staff or faculty member to set it up. Please someone volunteer!

 

The funds raised, which would go through the Stony Brook Foundation, would be used to

- get a professional design made up - (one that even hides the new dorms so the Japanese Noh style theatre windows can be used again)
- have the garden built

- have an endowment for its upkeep.

 

Anyone who can recommend a professional landscape designer with expertise in Japanese style gardens, that info is needed too. (List below from Google search but their quality is unknown.)

 

c) And hopefully that would lead to the same sort of thing being done to all the other garden areas. Each "square" around the koi pond was meant to represent the garden of a different country or area - Indonesian lilies - Chinese tree peonies (two were already planted by Wang Center architect PH Tuan) - Indian marigolds - jasmine and lotus from it seems everywhere in Asia. The two container gardens of bonsai and orchids. The foundation plantings. Real bamboo in the bathrooms. 

 

Just imagine, at Sakura Matsuri each year there would be real cherry blossoms!

Anyone interested in helping this project move forward can contact Andy at
Dr. Andrew Collver

acollver@optonline.net

58 Aspen Lane,
Stony Brook, NY 11790

631-751-5320
 

 

Mitsuko En Gallery
http://aasquared.org/gallery/mitsukoen

 

Article about Mituko En - 2006
http://www.aaezine.org/articles/
vol14/14N1MitsukoEn0506.shtml

   
  - Ja Young
Alumni Editor 
February 2016
Update per AC 2/17/16
   
  Japanese Landscape Designers in NY - NJ - CT
Asher Browne - NJ
Filho Landscaping - NY
Stamford Landscaping - CT
BelleWood Gardens - NJ
Mark Peter Keane - NY
Sozo Landscape Design - NY
Niwa International - NY
Stephen Morrell - NY

Worldwide list of Japanese garden designers
 

 



 

 

 



 

   
 

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