The Japanese Garden takes visitors out of their own culture and lets them explore another. Funded by the Niles Garden Club, the garden was designed by Ben Oki and completed in 1979. Ben Oki is the Curator of Bonsai at the world-renowned Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.
Fernwood's Japanese Garden is a variation of a Japanese dry garden. Gravel represents water and is raked to imitate the flow of the water. Benches around the edge of the garden can be used for sitting, meditating, and pondering the shapes, forms, and colors in the garden. Many of the forms are symbols. For example, the two islands in the gravel represent the "turtle" and the "crane," both of which symbolize longevity.
The Japanese people are very devoted to nature. Their gardens are works of art: different people can interpret them in different ways. Mr. Oki, in keeping with this tradition, designed the garden to leave room for the imagination of visitors.