A Brief History of Erik Sumiharu Hagiwara-Nagata


A little bit of my backround ... I am the great, great grandson of Baron Makoto Hagiwara, the creator of the Japanese Tea Garden (the oldest Japanese - style garden in the United States) in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. My degree is in landscape architecture, from the University of California at Berkeley. I received the Fred B. Barlow Jr. Memorial Award, which was awarded by the faculty to a student for outstanding work. 

In 1992, I won the first place cup from Fine Gardening Magazine for my exhibit at the San Francisco Landscape and Garden Show, entitled the "Rustic Japanese Garden". This exhibit represented the following entities: The City and County of San Francisco, the Osaka/San Francisco Sister Cities Organization, the Recreation and Parks Department of San Francisco, and The San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. The theme of the garden exhibit was of a Japanese garden in a rustic setting, and featured many rare and outstanding plants of horticultural merit. There were many examples of unique Japanese maples, bamboos, flowering shrubs, trees, and wisterias. 


 The Japanese Tea Garden recently celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1994, and to highlight the occasion, I donated 1,100 flowering cherry trees to Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the event. I sent 1,100 trees in order to insure that there would be at least 1,000 trees growing at the National Shrine for all the generations to enjoy. This number is a most felicitous one in the history of Japan (the number bringing much good fortune), and was a gift to the nation and to posterity. The collection of varieties would be hard pressed to be equalled anywhere in the country, with over three dozen named cultivars represented, as well as seedling stock from the Japanese Tea Garden which originally came to this country from the trees at the old family estate in Japan. (There were also at one time 1,000 Cherries in the Tea Garden before World War II). This particular kind is known as the Higan Zakura, the Spring, Equinox, or Rosebud Cherry and has been cultivated since antiquity. This species is most known in its weeping forms in cultivation in the U.S. A similar donation of flowering cherry trees was also made to Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA. The variety 'Shirofugen' was planted here as it is very late blooming. It was hoped that it may still be in bloom for Memorial Day events at the cemetery.

I have also been a docent at The San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, past Chair of the Horticultural Display Committee, and presently the current Chair of the Bamboo Department.

I have opened a specialty nursery (Garden Delights Nursery) in Penngrove, CA featuring high quality ornamentals, fruit trees, maples, dogwoods and magnolias.

I am also available for consultations and design.