LA Bloom: Gardens and mindfulness

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Hirokazu Kosaka is a Buddhist priest and an artist, but when I visited him last week at the Japanese American Cultural Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, he sounded more like he was into construction, or gardening. Four 18-wheelers had just dumped loads of pebbles on the plaza outside the center on San Pedro Street. On the edge of the enormous circle, Kosaka carefully guided a rake. “LA County Museum has one rock,” he joked. “We have five million of them.”

This enormous, temporary Japanese garden is the centerpiece of the LA Bloom Festival, which runs through the weekend and is offering up a wide range of activities, from performances to floral displays, as well as a cafe and beer garden.

Kosaka’s pride in the work of others was evident as he showed off a floral arrangement, called ikebana, constructed by women in the neighborhood. “They’re just housewives, not technically artists,” he said. “Look what they did.”

LA Bloom runs until Saturday, May 5.