Ongoing Programs

Taiko Drumming
Saturdays and Sundays; 1 & 3 p.m.
On the Conservatory Lawn
Thunderous and thrilling, the taiko (Japanese drum) has been called “the voice and spirit of the Japanese people.” From its roots in agriculture and use in the ancient music in shrines and temples, traditional taiko folk music is believed to have entertained the gods, attracted good fortune, driven away evil forces and insects, lent strength and courage to warriors, and celebrated life. These performances are staged by Taiko Masala.

Roaming Guides
Daily; 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Get an in-depth look into Kiku from guides stationed throughout the exhibition.

Self-Guided Tree Tour
Explore the Garden landscape and learn more about Japanese maples, Tanyosho pines, and other trees native to Japan. Pick up map in the Visitor Center to get started.

Poetry for Every Season: Kiku Poetry Walk
Co-presented with the Poetry Society of America
Support provided by the United States-Japan Foundation

Take a stroll along the Poetry Walk in the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum, curated by renowned poet Jane Hirshfield. The poems highlight the Japanese art of haiku and tanka, and are enhanced by the natural beauty of the surrounding tree collection, the first one established at the Botanical Garden, featuring pines, spruces, and firs, many of which are native to Asia.

This walk is complemented by a live Kiku Poetry Reading. See details below.

Special Weekend Events

Ikebana Weekend: The Art of Japanese Flower Arranging
October 5 & 6; 12–4 p.m.
In the Conservatory Courtyards
Japanese ikebana—“flowers kept alive”—is a complex form of asymmetrical flower arranging. Join expert-led demonstrations at 12 & 2 p.m. of this timeless and elegant art and sign up for an Adult Education class on the subject at

About the Instructors

Angelita Castro started studying ikebana in 1989 in Brazil. She later studied in Japan, receiving her ikebana Level I, II, and III instructor certifications. She has participated in ikebana exhibitions throughout the United States. She is a volunteer, teacher, and the East Coast chapter's Ikebana Sangetsu Coordinator of Activities at the Izunome Association. She is also a member of Ikebana International—Washington Chapter.

Miho Negrao started studying ikebana in Atami, Japan, where she received her Level I & II instructor certification in 1993. She is an active member of the Izunome Association's Ikebana Sangetsu School of Flower Arranging and has conducted ikebana demonstrations at UC-Berkeley in San Francisco, for the Red Cross—New York Chapter, and at the West Village Elementary School.

Bonsai Weekend
October 26 & 27; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
In the Conservatory Courtyards
Beautifully crafted bonsai will be on display for one weekend only! Experts will be on hand to share tips and tricks on the care and training of these living sculptures. Demonstrations on techniques at 12 & 2 p.m.

About the Experts

Since 1982 Michael Pollock has been an integral part of keeping the traditions of bonsai thriving. He is a member of the Yama Ki Bonsai Society and has honed his craft through his studies in the Ho Yoku School of Bonsai. He has been awarded the MidAtlantic Bonsai Societies' Best in Show Award, the MidAtlantic Bonsai Societies' Peoples' Choice Award, and the MidAtlantic Bonsai Societies' President's Award, among others. Currently he is the owner of Bonsai Shinsei New York, metropolitan New York's only school offering comprehensive instruction in the venerable art of bonsai.

The Yama Ki Bonsai Society was formed in 1973 by a group of individuals with a mutual interest in bonsai. Its purpose is to foster a forum for discussion and education on bonsai for people living in Westchester County, N.Y. and Fairfield County, Conn. The group's name, Yama Ki, means "Mountain Tree." Their lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and other activities help the novice and appeal to the more experienced bonsai enthusiast as well.

Poetry for Every Season: Kiku Poetry Reading
Presented with the Poetry Society of America
Support provided by the United States-Japan Foundation

October 27, 2 p.m.
Celebrate the beauty of fall flowers and foliage and their significance in Japanese culture with poet Jane Hirshfield, who will read classic favorites as well as a selection from her own work. This reading compliments the Poetry Walk (see description above). Seating is limited; reserve your tickets in advance to guarantee seating. Get your tickets here and select the special All-Garden Pass titled Poetry for Every Season Reading: Kiku.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of seven much-honored poetry collections, most recently Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011). Her co-translations from the Japanese include The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Komachi and Shikibu (Vintage Classics, 1990) and a best-selling e-book, The Heart of Haiku (Amazon Kindle Single, 2011). Her poems appear in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and seven editions of The Best American Poetry. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and this year's Hellman Visiting Artist in a neuroscience research program at University of California, San Francisco.

The poetry reading was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.