Bill Cook and Gwil Evans
Momiji-en has been our home in Corvallis, Oregon, since 1975. In our more than four decades here, we have found rich rewards from embracing our ever-expanding vision for what Momiji-en might be. As we have pursued our vision, we have learned many lessons, embraced family and welcomed friends, shared our home and garden, and reaped rewards that come with responsibility for working in consonance with Nature.
Momiji-en comprises more than one-half acre on the east slope of Witham Hill near Corvallis' popular Cloverland Park. It was this location, situated as it is on a hillside and with seasonal views of nearby IV Hill and Chip Ross Park, that first captured Bill's imagination when he searched the city for our home-to-be. It was here that he first saw picturesque views, a 1950s era home with sturdy "bones" and good potential. He saw also a relatively unattended sweep of hillside, front and back, inviting our attention for landscaping and gardening. In our 40-some years here, we have seen more clearly our roles as the current and contemporary stewards. On this web site we offer you visual and verbal stories that reflect our experiences.
Bill Cook is a native of the Pacific Northwest. His background is an amalgam of fine art, design, teaching, and learning. Early in his career, Bill painted, made prints, and sculpted in his fine art studios at four successive Corvallis homes. As his career evolved, Bill established Owen Wakefield Design and provided authentic Japanese garden design, garden and home construction supervision, and classic plant fostering techniques for new and practiced Japanese garden enthusiasts. He continues to provide coaching for his clients who are Japanese garden enthusiasts. The garden at Momiji-en serves as model and inspiration for Bill's fine art photographic endeavors.
Gwil Evans is also a native of the Pacific Northwest. His education and career focused on journalism, science communication, and higher education administration and leadership. Photography and technology have been important elements in his life. But it was Bill Cook who introduced Gwil to the practice and rewards of design, Japanese culture, and garden stewardship. Now that he's retired from a half-century career at Oregon State University, Gwil devotes most of his time to Momiji-en's gardens and infrastructure, all the while continuing to pursue photography.