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A Legacy-Making Gift

Honoring Ron Herman

We are thrilled and humbled to announce a legacy-making gift of $2 million in honor of late International Advisory Board member Ron Herman. The donation was made by his wife and longtime Portland Japanese Garden friend, Jenny Herman. Ms. Herman made the gift to celebrate Ron and recognize his major influence in the field of Japanese gardens internationally. 

“Ron was a major influencer on western understanding of the artform and created many of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America” says CEO Steve Bloom. “He was a giant in this field and we are honored to carry his legacy forward thanks to this generous gift from Jenny.” 

Horticulture enthusiasts will recall that Mr. Herman lectured at Portland Japanese Garden several times over the last decade. Mr. Herman was one of the foremost practitioners and scholars on Japanese gardens in the world. His advocacy for pairing cultural understanding with technical knowledge when teaching Japanese garden arts was formative in developing the learning model at our own International Japanese Garden Training Center’s flagship program Waza To Kokoro (“Hands and Heart”).   

With this gift, the Garden will finally be able to take its next steps toward evolving into The Japan Institute. The concept of evolving Portland Japanese Garden into The Japan Institute has been percolating with Garden leadership for nearly a decade. Thanks to this visionary gift, the dream is now possible. 

Ms. Herman’s gift comes after already generously donating Ron’s significant volume of texts to our own library collection. This addition is an incredible contribution to the body of Japanese garden knowledge that will be shared globally. The Hermans’ gift will be recognized through the naming of the Ron and Jenny Herman Garden House and ensures his indelible impact on the field of Japanese gardens will be known today as well as for future generations.