Before he even began work on Evelyn Faulkner’s property, Hayato Ogawa visited her Langley home four times. He spent that time sitting in the garden or walking around the property to “get a feel.”
This was six years ago.
What resulted was Thyme on 43rd, a one-acre Japanese garden, which Faulkner describes as “a place where time stands still.”
“He kind of married the two cultures, combining the Japanese and North American cultures together in landscape design,” Faulkner said.
And for his work on the garden, Ogawa received this year’s 2013 B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association Landscape award of excellence as well as the prestigious, and rarely presented, Grand Award.
The awards were presented last week (Sept. 19) during the 2013 CanWest Hort Show awards celebration at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
“This is my oasis,” Faulkner said.
“It definitely exceeded my expectations.
“I am just thrilled Hayato is being recognized for his talents. He deserves it.”
Ogawa runs his own landscaping business, Ogawa Landscape Designs.
The 38-year-old was schooled in the ancient art of Japanese landscaping under Master Kyoto Fugasya.
Ogawa studied for four years in Tokyo, where pretty much all he did was eat, sleep and work.
It was so intensive that he said out of the 20 classmates in the program, all dropped out but him.
This was in Ogawa’s early 20s, and after becoming a certified horticultural technician in landscape installation, he emigrated to Canada about 10 years ago.
As for the award, Ogawa says while the recognition is nice, his inspiration was about creating a garden to match Faulkner’s vision.
“I wanted something that was quiet and would recognize peace and tranquility,” she said. “And Hayato knew what that was.”
Every stone and plant in the garden was hand-chosen for its unique character and purpose in the garden.
The entrance gate features unique stone pillars and a cedar shake roof, the gazebo has hand-carved beams, mixed with bamboo and string from Japan. The tile ridge caps on the structures were acquired from temples in Japan. The stone pump house, the natural stone and stepping stone pathways, long curved stone bench, various walls and patios display Ogawa’s talented stonework.
Water features have also been placed throughout, which add to the tranquil setting. A small waterfall trickles into a 70-foot long pebble stream that flows into the pond.
A grand waterfall cascades into a koi pond and can be enjoyed from a large patio or stone bench which is covered with a living roof of sedums which bloom yellow, pink and white in the summer.
The garden also features antique basins and pots that are filled with water via bamboo spouts.
Ogawa returns to the garden usually for one full day a week to maintain the waterfall and to prune the trees.