Pacific Northwest | February 8, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineFebruary 8, 2004seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

From Shambles to Showcase
Photo
COURTESY OF JUNKOH HARUI
This week's Now & Then shows two engaging entrees to Bainbridge Gardens. In full bloom, the older view is not dated, but probably 75 or 80 years separate it from the recent snow-bound scene.

 
 Photo
DON SELLERS
ZENHICHI HARUI, who emigrated from Japan to the United States in 1908, nurtured Bainbridge Gardens, his verdant island landmark, after first working at the Port Blakely mill, also on Bainbridge Island. An avid plant lover, Harui appointed his 20 acres with greenhouses, trellises, carp-filled ponds, sunken gardens and Japanese statuary. Fronting it all was a traditional store with service station. Soon, Bainbridge Gardens became a favorite destination not only for gardeners looking for exotics but also for garden tourists and those wishing simply to retreat.

However, this Bainbridge Island pastoral was grimly interrupted in the spring of 1942 with the forced evacuation of all island residents of Japanese descent — about 240 people, most of them American citizens. Although friends kept the family store open, when the Harui family returned after the war they found their garden in shambles.

At the time, Harui's son, Junkoh, was in grade school. But in 1989, Junkoh returned to the old gardens and set about restoring them. Soon, Bainbridge Gardens, at 9415 Miller Road N.E., became a destination both for gardeners and strollers wanting to enjoy the garden's many features, including the grove of Japanese red pines that Zenhichi Harui planted from seedlings brought from Japan.

Today, "The Red Pines," a recent film about Bainbridge Gardens done by Bainbridge Island filmmaker Lucy Ostrander for IslandWood learning center, will be shown "around 3 p.m." at the island's historic Lynwood Theatre. It will be but one of the nearly 30 films featured in the sixth annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival. (For more information visit the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council Web site at www.artshum.org or call the garden at 206-842-5888.)

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

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