Yuko-En in Bloom

Spring is officially here! Mother Nature has awakened from her winter hibernation, welcoming sunshine back to the Bluegrass and leaving the gray and gloom behind. This mixture of sunshine and the colors of spring is the perfect recipe for rebirth.

The earth has transformed from brown to lush green and the trees have bloomed with beautiful shades of white, pink and purple blossoms. Gray skies fade to bright blue and bursts of golden sunrays sparkle and warm the wintery and bone-chilling Elkhorn Creek.

It is perhaps the most exciting season of all; a season filled with pure joy. This is the season of celebrations; of new beginnings; of weddings and graduations; of health and happiness; and the season of birth.

Spring has just arrived and people are already infected with Spring Fever. Shoppers and pedestrians line the streets of Georgetown. Parks are filled with playful children, pets and adults as well. Bicyclers and runners line the scenic back roads of Scott County and kayaks, canoes and fisherman line the Elkhorn Creek.

I feel a wonderful sense of community seeing everyone out and about with so much energy and enthusiasm. So, where am I in the midst of this celebration of spring? Just off the banks of the Elkhorn Creek, nestled in the valley and base of Cardome Centre, just outside of downtown, Georgetown rests a special sanctuary. It is a place where I can relax and escape the hustle and bustle of my everyday routine; a mystifying, secret garden.

Well actually it is no secret to the community of Georgetown. In fact, it’s open to the public daily from dusk until dawn. Ironically however, many visitors have yet to discover perhaps Georgetown’s best kept secret: Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, the official Kentucky-Japan Friendship Garden.

This tranquil and relaxing retreat features the traditional elements of a Japanese garden with plants and landforms native to Japan and Kentucky.

The entrance to this Zen landscape depicts the Tokugawa Shogunate era in the form of Medieval European castle gates. The Tokugawa Gates are followed by a welcoming path that leads into the garden through a patch of native cane, winding through the six-acre Japanese style stroll garden.

Here, you can enjoy paths, waterfalls, elegant Koi ponds, arched bridges leading through a Japanese style raked stone garden, water garden, a Zen garden and past the banks of the Elkhorn Creek.

There is a Kiln House that offers demonstrations monthly and a Tea House that offers tea ceremonies at various times throughout the year. The Villa, while not yet open to the public, frequently has exhibits of cultural interest.

There is also a Tahara Snow Lateran and a Maple grove that are both gifts from the citizens of Tahara. The Maple grove includes species from both America and Japan.

This garden was a gift to the community and symbolizes the relationship with our sister city and our relationship with Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc. as well as the Japanese people within our community.

We take pride in this secret garden of tranquility and hope to share it with everyone who visits Georgetown/Scott County. This is the perfect picturesque landscape to exercise, enjoy a picnic, take landscape photographs or just relax and enjoy the beauty of our season.

Happy Spring!





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