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How to Grow a Friendship Garden


A simple friendship garden can be as small as a windowsill, and you can exchange seeds and cuttings with friends and family. Public gardens for friendship are also available in several cities. For example, Phoenix, Ariz., Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, N.C., all have gardens dedicated to friendship.

Japanese cherry trees

The Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego is a great place to see Japanese cherry trees in bloom. The garden covers 12 acres and includes an acre entirely dedicated to cherry trees. The Japanese cherry trees include more than 200 varieties of pink cloud trees. These trees are between 15 and 25 feet tall and bear deep pink blossoms. In late March and early April, Sakura burst from the trees. The cherry blossom festival is a highlight of San Diego’s calendar, and the Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the places where you can see Sakura.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is the best place to see cherry blossoms in San Diego. Cherry blossom season usually begins in February and runs through April, but the cherry trees in San Diego are longer-lived than most other trees. The festival features several events, including a beer and sake garden, arts and crafts, and a jump house for the little ones.

Japanese juniper

The Japanese juniper looks best in an Asian-themed garden or as a small topiary. It has tightly woven foliage with a lovely blue-green tint and forms a neat mound. Its compact form pairs well with rocky water features and rocks; you can buy it in pre-shaped forms. Even tiny city gardens can benefit from a Japanese juniper.

The Japanese Friendship Garden also has a unique bonsai display, a Femina juniper forest bonsai composition similar to the Goshin at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Japan. This display was donated to the garden by Larry Ragle, a student of John Naka. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese Friendship Garden is not open to the public, but staff members are evaluating whether it is safe to return to normal operations.

Siberian iris

You have many options when planting a Siberian iris in your friendship garden. This iris is a drought-tolerant perennial that grows well in most soil types. It prefers full sun and moist conditions but will tolerate normal perennial conditions such as dry soil. In addition, it grows well from seed or propagation.

Other iris varieties unmatch the Siberian iris’ delicate beauty. It is a charming companion plant in a perennial border. It blooms simultaneously as Tall Bearded varieties and peaks just after they have reached their peak bloom. It also requires much less maintenance than other perennials and is virtually disease-free. It also makes a charming cut flower.


Peonies are a beautiful addition to any flower garden, but they often don’t bloom in the first year. It can take up to three years for a peony to bloom, but with the proper care, it will bloom for years. Peonies are generally easy to divide and can be done in the fall. To divide a peony, cut back the foliage and lift the entire plant from the ground. Then, cut the roots. Make sure that the plant is divided into three to five separate sections. After transplanting, water the new plants thoroughly. A peony plant can take two to three years to bloom, so it is essential to avoid over-watering.

Once in bloom, peonies can be pretty heavy and need support. If you have a double peony or a “bomb” variety, you may want to use support if you plan to cut the flowers. However, it’s essential to do this early in the growing season because once the peony is fully grown, it won’t support itself properly. You can also use Grow-Through Supports, perfect for peonies because they allow the stems to grow through the grid.


The Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego will hold a special exhibition on bamboo-this September, featuring pieces from 1887 to 2015. The exhibition will showcase the varied developments in the art of bamboo. It will be curated by TAI Modern, a Santa Fe gallery specializing in contemporary Japanese bamboo art for over 20 years.

Poppy-painted mural

A poppy-painted mural in the Friendship Garden symbolizes the power of community collaboration and unity. The garden was founded in 1982 and served as a local oasis for seniors. It is a tranquil location for informal gatherings, birthday celebrations, and cookouts. A grant from the Broadway musical Wicked provided funding to renovate the garden in 2007.

The project’s creator, Lucille McClarey, grew up in the neighborhood and decided to create a garden on a vacant lot to bring the community together. She began the project thirty years ago by assembling neighbors to clear the land and rented it from the city for $1 a year. She tended the garden until the late 1990s, when city officials started talking about taking the land back. Finally, in early 2000, the New York Restoration Project purchased the land. The New York Restoration Project wanted to keep the garden intact and give it back to the community.

Wishing well

A wish is a symbolic act of friendship. The Wishing Well in the Friendship Garden represents community and togetherness. A wishing well symbolizes the coming together of friends and family to accomplish a common goal. The garden has many other elements of Oz-inspired landscaping, including a mural painted with poppies, an emerald granite patio, and a spiral-twisted stone barbeque.