LIVING IN OUR ARID, desertlike climate in these dry times, we are well aware of the need to employ water-conservation practices. So it's good to know that one of our loveliest public gardens is making plans to use reclaimed water exclusively. The Japanese Garden includes three distinct areas--a Zen garden, a wet strolling garden and a tea garden. The water-reclamation plant demonstrates the use of reclaimed water by depicting it in three states: the 2 1/2-acre fish-filled lake shows its calm state; the stream, its horizontal movement; and the waterfall, its vertical motion.
The 6 1/2-acre garden (designed by award-winning landscape architect and former UCLA professor of art Dr. Koichi Kawana) is authentic in every detail--from its hand-set stone paths and sculptures, Japanese stone lanterns and 14th-Century farmhouse and teahouse to its iris-lined zigzag bridge, combinations of seasonal flowers and plants and bonsai-style black pines.
Peaceful morning tours of this serene oasis in the San Fernando Valley (groups are limited to 14) are conducted Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays by appointment only. The garden is available for weddings and other small, private functions.
Japanese Garden, City of Los Angeles Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, 6100 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys; (818) 989-8166.