Como’s Japanese Garden Recognized as a “Rising Star”

Como visitors tell us they love the changes we’ve made to The Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden —- and now so do the experts.


A just released ranking of the leading Japanese Gardens in North America now lists Como’s historic sansui garden —- a gift from St. Paul’s sister city of Nagasak i—- among the top 12 such gardens in the U.S. and Canada. Sukiya Living Magazine, the leading English language journal of Japanese gardening, goes on to recognize Como as a “rising star” in this rarified horticultural world, moving from 19th to 12th place since the last ranking in 2007.

“We feel exceptionally honored to be recognized for the restoration efforts taken on last year to present our Japanese Garden at its best advantage and intended design,” says Tina Dombrowski, horticultural curator at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. “During the past year when it was closed for the construction of The Ordway Gardens, our focus encompassed defining and refurbishing the garden to reflect the original intentions of Nagasaki designer Masami Matsuda, and I believe that our horticulturists succeeded beautifully.” Conservatory horticulturists selectively removed, pruned and added new plant species to reveal the historic Tea House and to open up views into and from within the garden.

To ensure that all of these initiatives would reflect the aesthetic traditions of Japanese gardens, staff of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory consulted with John Powell, an internationally recognized expert on Japanese garden design —- a connection made possible by the investment of Como Friends and its supporters. “Our goal is to get the Conservatory all the resources they need to do their best work, and all of the recognition they deserve as one of our country’s leading botanical gardens,” says Como Friends president Jackie Sticha. “This new ranking is proof of the strength of our partnership, and we’re grateful to all of the members and supporters who helped make these improvements possible.”

Come see the new and improved Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden, open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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