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Stopping by Fresno's tranquil Friendship Garden.

From a dry, bare lot next to a busy highway in north Fresno has emerged a lush oasis, the Shin Zen Friendship Garden. This 7-acre Japanese-style garden opened three years ago in a corner of Woodward Park. Now plantings are more mature and late spring blooms are still showy.

Curving around a willow-swept lake, trees are clustered according to season: you can stroll a wide path from summer's shading pines to fall's Chinese pistaches and winter's evergreens. The garden should still be vibrant with plum and cherry blossoms and the flower spikes of watsonia. Calico koi swim lazily in a small pond nearby.

The garden is still developing. Plans call for major plantings of camellias and azaleas, as well as the construction of a tea-house. Hours are 10 to 3 Saturdays and Sundays. Garden admission is free; park entrance costs $1.

From downtown Fresno, take State Highway 41 about 7 miles north and go right on E. Audubon Drive to the park; a oneway road leads to the garden.
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Title Annotation:Shin Zen Friendship Garden
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1985
Words:169
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