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Sherry Xu (MLA ’22) in Kubota Garden Foundation Newsletter

Meet Sherry Xu

When I first entered Kubota Garden, I was struck by its unique and traditional Japanese landscape features. I wanted to know more about how such a beautiful Japanese garden was designed, built, developed, and maintained, so I decided to volunteer with the Kubota Garden Foundation.

To learn more about Kubota Garden, I decided to participate in the “Tuesdays in the Garden” events first. During the weekly mulching and weeding activities, I was fortunate to meet many volunteers and gardeners who also love the garden, and I got to know it better. In the process, I also met KGF’s Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Sophia Eichholz, and Kubota Garden Historian, Ernie Dornfeld. I learned from talking with different people about how Fujitaro Kubota, his family, and Seattle Parks and Recreation grew the garden from a 5-acre swamp to a 20-acre public garden with many thousands of annual visitors.


Based on interviews and experiences, two of my classmates and I made a video called, “Multi-angle Storytelling of Kubota Garden: A Public History Video,” which talks about how different people see the garden. In May and June, I also volunteered as a Garden Greeter and helped with the Soapstone Carving Workshop. Because of my landscape architecture degree, I am most interested in the “Tuesdays in the Garden”; events because I can learn a lot of useful plant knowledge from experienced volunteers and gardeners. These events have also given me access to soil, fresh air, leaves, and flowers during my busy weeks and I’m grateful. I also really like working as a garden greeter to help various visitors with wayfinding, question answering, and history introduction. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the happy faces of touring visitors.

For the future development of the garden, I think it’s important to reflect upon its history in more ways. Overall, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in KGF volunteer activities. I hope to be able to participate in more events in the future.

This post was originally written by Sherry Xu (MLA ’22) for the Fall 2022 Kubota Garden Foundation Newsletter.  Interested in volunteering at the garden?  Please check out the KGF Volunteer page