Kimurascape Techniques grew out my interest in plants and gardening at an early age. During my teen years I worked at Angeli’s Nursery in San Leandro for 4 years. During that time I learned about all types of plants, shrubs, trees and gardening techniques in general; information I still use to this day.  Gardening has always been therapeutic for me, so I have spent many hours in my garden perfecting my skills. 

I became interested in the art of Bonsai and started to read about the techniques. I applied what I learned in my garden, but really was not satisfied with the results.  That is when I decided to take a Bonsai class from Master Johnny Ushida.  What I learned from Johnny Ushida helped me tremendously to get to the next level and to the realization that I had the “eye” to effectively apply the techniques to get the results I desired.  No doubt my garden started to take shape and closer to how I had envisioned for it.

In effort to get some more ideas for my garden I decided to visit the Hayward Japanese Garden and was fortunate to meet Kimio Kimura the designer and architect of the gardens.  I told him about my garden and some of my garden frustrations.  He spent the entire day with me and explained and showed me the techniques of Kimurascape.

Mr. Kimura was impressed with my skills and enlisted me as a volunteer at the Hayward Japanese Garden.  I volunteered twice a month at the gardens at which time Kimio became my mentor/teacher.  As time went on I taught other volunteers the techniques of Kimurascape and became Mr. Kimura’s right hand man.    

In 2002 when I sold my business, Mr. Kimura asked me to accompany him to the six  acre estate of Kenneth Behring .  Mr. Kimura designed the Japanese Garden on the estate several years before, but the garden had not been kept up properly.  On Mr. Kimura’s recommendation I was hired to restore the gardens.  I worked 4 months 3 days a week on the restoration and also trained the estate gardeners to assist in the maintenance of the garden. 

After working at the Behring Estate, I knew what my next career would be.  Since 2003 I have been restoring and maintaining some of the finest Japanese Gardens in Northern California.  I continue to strive to refine my skills and get much pleasure sharing my knowledge with my clients, some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Jim Luis