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Berkshire Botanical Garden proudly presents exclusive access to our 26th annual Winter Lecture with Midori Shintani, head gardener of Tokachi Millennium Forest, who introduces Tokachi, which has inspired a unique modern garden movement in Japan. Midori shares how she and her team have nurtured the native forests and cultivated garden areas through the seasons. She also explains how her gardening methods are rooted in the accumulated wisdom of the ancient Japanese belief of mother culture, and how she has built a solid partnership with garden designer Dan Pearson and her garden team.
The Tokachi Millennium Forest is located at the foot of the Hidaka Mountains in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. The project was originally started in 1990 by a local newspaper company that acquired about 990 acres there to create a carbon-offsetting forest. Eventually this became a project to restore the natural forest ecosystems, to share with the public and be sustainable for the next 1,000 years. The garden project of the Tokachi Millennium Forest began in 1996. In 2008, the forest officially was opened to the public, and has continued to evolve.
Midori Shintani was born and raised in the Fukui Prefecture in central Japan, in the countryside surrounded by sea and mountains. Spending time with plants in this area rich with nature was an early influence. Midori trained in horticulture and landscape architecture at Minami Kyushu University, Japan. In 2002 she moved to Sweden and trained to become a gardener at Millesgården and Rosendals Trädgård. In 2004 she moved back to Japan and worked at a garden design and landscaping company and perennial nursery, gaining experience in both traditional and modern techniques to create her own gardening style. Since 2008 she has been the head gardener of Tokachi Millennium Forest, merging “new Japanese horticulture” into wild nature. She writes and lectures widely.
Need help paying for this class? Berkshire Botanical Garden, through the generous support of our students, provides financial aid. Please fill out the application here.