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UNIQUE IN SUBURBIA | Fabyan Japanese Garden In Batavia

by Brianna Bartemeyer


“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity. -Dalai Lama

Finding harmony in disharmony. It’s a phrase that succinctly embodies the goal of many adults. Seeking harmony continues to challenge, inspire and serve as a beacon of hope to our everyday lives. Through life’s various ‘seasons’, we grow, learn, adjust … and find unique opportunities to flourish. Similar to nature, there is beauty to see in every season.

Japanese culture is known for creatively, artistically and poetically showcasing the importance of ‘seasons’ with its gardens. If you are looking to feel energized by nature, the Fabyan Japanese Garden in Geneva is a tranquil oasis that belonged to George and Nelle Fabyan - they developed an appreciation for Japanese culture after visiting the 1893 Chicago World Fair. To ensure authenticity, Fabyans commissioned Taro Otsuka (a famous landscape designer) and Susumu Kobayashi (a master gardener). In fact, Kobayashi and his family lived on the Fabyan Estate for 15 years. This beautifully crafted, one-acre garden features signature plantings and elements throughout its winding trial. Fun fact - the Ginko and Weeping Spruce trees are original … over 111 years old! And the garden is home to some wild visitors - such as: hummingbirds, bullfrogs, snapping turtles and songbirds.

Japanese gardens feature four seasonal ‘blooms’, as a reminder of the beauty found in each season - some flowering, some fleeting … some rainy, some cleansing. Legend has it, President Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison and Japanese General Kuroki were a few famous guests! Today, the property is interpreted and cared for by Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley.

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