The Humes Garden is a fine example of a Japanese stroll garden in the Northeast United States, seamlessly integrating ageless Japanese landscape techniques with the woodland terrain of Long Island’s North Shore. The Garden Conservancy was instrumental in saving the garden from closing in 1993 and now manages the garden on behalf of the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden Foundation and oversees its long-term preservation.www.humesjapanesestrollgarden.org
Summer 2012, Hortus magazine (England), "Reflections on the Journey," by Stephen Morrell, a retrospective on the path of the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden over fifty years
Read about the renovation of the tea house at the garden and other new developments in a Garden Conservancy News cover article, June 2012.
Humes Garden Guide, with a garden map, plant list, and other details.
The John P. Humes Japanese Garden at Fifty, an essay by Stephen A. Morrell, 2010
1960: Lawyer John P. Humes (later Ambassador to Austria from 1969 to 1975) and his wife, Jean, visit Kyoto. Inspired by their visit, they spend the next 4 years transforming a wooded corner of their Mill Neck estate into a meditative Japanese landscape, including an imported tea house. They engage a Japanese landscape designer and his wife, Douglas and Joan DeFaya, to design and direct the installation of the original two-acre section of the garden.
1980: Humes forms the Humes Japanese Garden Foundation for the purposes of maintenance and preservation of the Stroll Garden.
1982: Humes engages Stephen Morrell as curator to rehabilitate and expand the garden, and to facilitate its transition from a private to public garden.
1985: John P. Humes dies and the management of the garden passes to the Humes Japanese Garden Foundation. The Japanese Stroll Garden opens to the public.
1993: With the garden struggling financially, the Garden Conservancy assumes management of the garden.
1997: Stroll Garden receives a challenge grant from the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Fund. The Garden Conservancy works with the Humes Foundation and the Friends of the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden to raise matching funds.
1998: Funds raised in 1997 allow for the rejuvenation of the waterfall, a key feature of the garden, and construction of a masonry wall to mitigate road noise.
1998: The New York Times features the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden, calling it a "Hidden Jewel."
2000: Mrs. Humes, the garden's co-creator, passes away, adding funds to bolster a diminishing endowment for the garden.
2000: Peter Wechsler constructs a new entrance gate from native Eastern red cedar, using traditional carpentry methods of the master temple builders of Japan.
2001: With funds from the Freeman Foundation, the Stroll Garden begins its education outreach program to bring the Japanese garden into the classroom.
2009: Transfer of an additional parcel of land from the Humes family brings the Stroll Garden’s total acreage up to seven, of which four acres are under cultivation.
2010: The Stroll Garden celebrates turning fifty and is highlighted in the Open Days Directory. Gerry Charitable Trust awards grant to restore the tea house. Three years of funding is obtained from New York State‘s Zoos, Botanic Gardens and Aquariums fund for the ongoing care of the garden.
2012: The garden's tea house, beautifully restored thanks to a grant from the Peggy N. and Roger G. Gerry Charitable Trust, is dedicated at a special ceremony on July 14 and named Chikufauan, Japanese for "bamboo wind tea house."
The garden is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays,
April 27 through October 27, 2013.
11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Last admission is at 4 p.m.
Public Guided Tours with Tea Ceremony Demonstration, lasting about 90 minutes,
starting at 10 a.m. on the following Saturdays:
May 11 and 18
June 8 and 22
August 3 and 24
September 14 and 28
October 12 and 26
Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) performances –
Second and fourth Saturdays of each month, 1 - 4 p.m.
May 18 – Nassau County Open Day,11:30 a.m. to 4;30 p.m.
May 18-19 – Spring Plant Sale Weekend & Membership Drive
June 8-9 – Educational Outreach Program exhibit
July 20-21 – NYC Chapter Ikenobo/ Ikebana Society exhibit
July 20 - Oct 27 – Summer exhibit: "The Zen Oxherder Parable," ink paintings by Sungsook Hong Setton
Oct 12-13 – Fall Plant Sale Weekend & Membership Drive
Chrysanthemum Exhibit – call for date
Admission and Tours
$10 per person; children under 12 and Garden Conservancy members free. Friday's senior citizen day admission $7 per person
$12 per person for tour with tea ceremony
Private tours and tea ceremony demonstrations are available by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays. Public tours on designated Saturdays. Reservations are required for all tours. Call 516.676.4486 for dates and reservations.
The garden is located at the corner of Oyster Bay Road and Dogwood Lane in Mill Neck, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island about 26 miles from Manhattan and one mile from Planting Fields Arboretum, and the Long Island Railroad’s Oyster Bay Line. Taxis are available at the LIRR station.