The Northwest Language and Cultural Center will once again welcome Japanese master gardener Masa Mizuno to Whidbey Island for a pruning workshop and luncheon, to be held May 3. Now in its fourth year, the workshop will take place at a private residence in the Headlands, on Whidbey Island. The event includes a demonstration and Q&A, followed by a tour of the gardens and authentic Japanese lunch.

This is an opportunity to view an outstanding private garden and residence, and to meet and speak with one of the living masters of Japanese gardening in the company of other avid gardeners. Learn to recognize the inherent shape within the structure of a tree or shrub, to understand the balance of positive and negative space, and to encourage health and form through pruning.

Masa Mizuno came to the United States from Osaka in 2000, and has been the landscape director of the Portland Japanese Garden for over a decade. As the president of his own 30-year-old design firm, he has installed public and private Japanese gardens around the world, including several on Whidbey Island.

The Japanese have been creating gardens since the first century A.D., designing miniaturized ideal landscapes based on symbolic, spiritual, and exacting aesthetic principles. In Japanese pleasure gardens, a series of view points are laid out to create specific corridors of sight. Concealment and the slow reveal of disparate elements is of great importance, as is the principle of asymmetry. As landscape gardener Seyemon Kusumoto once wrote: “The best of nature’s handiwork in a limited space.”

Seating is limited; advance reservations are strongly recommended, as the event is certain to sell out. The cost for the workshop and luncheon is $75 per person, the balance of which will benefit NWLA’s summer camp scholarship program. NWLA is committed to providing its summer camps and language classes to all children regardless of ability to pay, and attendance at events such as these helps make this commitment possible.

Overnight accommodations are available in the Cultural Center’s Guesthouse, at 5023 Langley Rd. Langley, WA. 98260.

Reservations can be made online or by contacting 360-321-2101 or [email protected]. To learn more about NWLA and upcoming programs or classes, visit

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