Spring has sprung in the Shinzen Garden!

Fresno, Calif - Spring has sprung in Fresno's Shinzen Friendship Garden!

The five acre garden is located within Woodward Park. It's a place Penny Tocher says she visits daily.

"It's the best kept secret in town!" Tocher said.

Tocher says she takes pictures every year of the Magnolia or Tulip trees, "they're spectacular," she said.

Along with the Magnolia, this time of year, you can see the Camellias and Azaleas. 

Susana Figueroa is the garden's director and manager. She says the Ume trees have been blooming earlier than normal, though it's unclear exactly why.

"It's a warmer climate coming in earlier, so then the bloom happens earlier," she said.

The heavy recent rainfall this season damaged some of the blooms in the garden.

"The blooms kind of came and went really quickly this year," she said.

But there's still plenty of beauty. Everything in the garden has significance and conscious placement.

Figueroa says the Koi fish "signify longevity and good luck."

The Double Moon bridge above the fish is iconic of a Shinzen Garden.

"When you walk from the main island to the smaller island, crossing the bridge was a possibility of rebirth," she said.

Among many other features, there is also a traditional Japanese Tea House that was made in Japan.

The garden has been in Woodward Park for more than 35 years and right now is showing off the sights and sounds of early Spring.

"It's a jewel in this town and people need to come and see it," Tocher said.

The garden is open on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the rest of March and will reopen on weekdays starting in April.

There is more information here.


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