My grandfather was a successful landscape architect in eastern Michigan.
During World War II, he was stationed in the Pacific and eventually ended up in Japan after the country finally surrendered.
He said that it was the gorgeous Japanese gardens and buildings that inspired him to attend college for landscape architecture when he returned to the States. With my grandmother’s help, he left college early to start his own landscaping business. At first they focused on residential contracts, but soon they were helping with large building developments that needed that land to be cleared and reformed with retention ponds, hills, and lush trees. One of the major roads in Ann Arbor was completely built by my grandfather, and I am proud of it to this day. When I first moved to Tarzana, I heard about the Japanese Garden and immediately thought about my grandfather and his influential visit to Japan during the second world war. Tarzana’s Japanese Garden is located in the Lake Balboa district and is a six and a half acre public garden that was built to demonstrate the power of reclaimed water. Since a Japanese Garden is thought to be a work of fragility, demonstrating its resilience with reclaimed water is an important environmental lesson. During my recent trip, I had just stopped at a local cannabis dispensary on Victory Boulevard. I felt the zen energy in the garden with ease, almost like a gentle wave washing over me at the beach. Afterward I explored the rest of Lake Balboa while my THC high was still active in my brain. There are a number of different outdoor parks in Tarzana that are worth anyone’s attention.