The Humes Garden is a fine example of a Japanese stroll garden in the Northeast United States, seamlessly integrating ageless Japanese landscape techniques with woodland terrain of Long Island's North Shore. The Garden Conservancy was instrumental in saving the garden from closing in 1993 and now manages the garden on behalf of the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden Foundation and oversees its long-term preservation.
The garden was created by lawyer John P. Humes (later Ambassador to Austria from 1969 to 1975) and his wife, Jean, who visited Kyoto in 1960. Inspired by their visit, they spent the next four years transforming a wooded corner of their Mill Neck, Long Island, New York, estate into a meditative Japanese landscape, including an imported tea house. They engaged a Japanese landscape designer and his wife, Douglas and Joan DeFaya, to design and direct the initial installation of the original garden.
This four-acre Japanese garden has been inspired by the aesthetic of its deciduous woodland context. A sense of discovery is engendered by the serpentine paths that traverse hillside terrain allowing the garden experience to unfold one step at a time. The garden features native and Asian plants, including an extensive use of moss and bamboo. Public and private tours, tea demonstrations, flower arranging and Japanese music are regular offerings.