This week has seen a lot of changing weather; with scattered showers mixed with warm sunny spells, we have had many visitors borrowing umbrellas and many not needing them at all!
I took a walk down the garden today and i felt like the cobwebs had been blown away by the breeze flowing through the valley. The maples are looking so beautiful , with their variety of colours and the rich tones of springtime.
There are a few azaleas still blossoming and even some budded and waiting to flourish in the next week or so.
The lillies are now showing off their superb white blooms over the pond and the gorgeous, purple iris adds a pop of colour to the pond’s edge.
The wisteria, arched over a walkway, is dangling its stunning purple flowers and many of the petals are covering the ground beneath it.
There is a feeling of freshness in the garden this week; as the showers of rain add a lushness to the leaves and plants look full of vitality after the rain.
It won’t be long now until summer is truly here, and the garden’s energy is shifting towards the summer vibe already.
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What a busy week it has been here at The Japanese Garden! We have seen lots of friendly faces, which has been wonderful!
I spent some time wondering around the garden today, and i found myself transfixed by all the maples which are now in full leaf and showing off their superb colours.
There are so many maple varieties in the garden and each has it’s own unique beauty.
Colour is still in abundance with my eye being caught by pinks, purples and red flowers from the azaleas. There are many varieties of azalea and they flower at different times, so many are just coming up to bloom, where as others are now already past.
Today i only had a few minutes to wonder the paths and take a few pictures, but i feel relaxed by the time i come out.
We have also had a few superb Bonsai arrive this week which are now styling; to create some truly show-stopping trees!
Our new ‘Outdoor Bonsai’ section has been re-opened to the public and is now full of beautiful Bonsai.
Wont be long now until our grafted acer delivery will be here! Watch this space.
Please check out photos from this week, shown below –
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This week i got myself wrapped up in a waterproof coat and grabbed my camera for a walk in the garden during a heavy rain shower.
I often photograph the garden in the sunshine, when the light shines through the acer leaves and makes the place look as if it is glowing, but this week I was inspired by the ripples in the water as the rain drops hit the surface and echoed across the pond.
Many visitors like to visit when the sun is shining and everything is dry in the garden, but for me, the place is most magical when the rain is pouring down and the sound of water can be heard everywhere as droplets hit thousands of leaves.
When i am in the garden during heavy rain, it feels like i have the place all to myself, as the sound of water incapsulates me wherever i am in the garden. It reminds me of my childhood, as i always loved being in the rain, and was often found in the garden hiding under a tree!
Everyone has their own personal experience in the Japanese Garden; with many feeling a deep sensation of relaxation and calm and others feeling something very personal whilst visiting. I always feel calmed by the place and it helps me let go of unwanted stress, but when it rains, and i have a chance to spend time in the garden, then i often feel very nostalgic and i have a deeper experience in the space.
I cannot explain exactly what makes the garden have such an effect on visitors but the combination of plants and natural elements feel balanced and this feeling of balance seems to be picked up by so many people even if it cannot be explained exactly why.
I photographed these pictures on 1st May 2017 – which marks the garden’s 20 years open anniversary! The weather was far more rainy than it was 20 years ago today, but the garden is even more beautiful now, as the trees and plants are now far more mature.
Please enjoy looking at the photos pictured below –
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Today marks 20 years open for The Japanese Garden!

On the 1st of May 1997 Stella and Robert Hore opened the garden to the public after a 6 years of constant creating and lots of planting.

I was 11 years old when the garden opened and i remember holding the ribbon that crossed the gateway of the entrance – i held it up as two of my primary school friends cut the ribbon either side of me.

That was 20 years ago today!

Having taken over management of the garden, my partner Stuart and I would like to thank everyone who has supported the garden over the years and we look forward to seeing you all for the next 20!

Please enjoy some ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos pictured below – i have tried to match the same shots from when the garden was being constructed, to images taken over the last 12 months – hope you enjoy!


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This week has seen a sensation of colour in the garden as the Azaleas show off their amazing blossoms.
The variety of colours is superb ranging from classic white to bright pinks, reds and even purple flowers!
As we approach the latter part of April it is amazing how far along the garden is for the season. We estimate about 3 weeks ahead of last year.
The garden appears to be springing with colour around every corner and if your eye isn’t caught by the flowers then it will be the Japanese Maples that will capture your attention with the spectacular leaf shapes and vivid reds and greens now flourishing for spring.
As I take a walk through the garden this week I feel very lucky to be here. The space feels welcoming and calming and my eye keeps being taken by the plants and colours that are now displaying their best spring show. There are over a hundred varieties of Japanese Maple growing in the garden and each one is unique and beautiful.
The Koi are always a favourite of mine to watch swimming and the water is now almost crystal clear! I could watch them for hours.
Feedback from the garden has been so wonderful this week and it has been a pleasure meeting so many visitors who have enjoyed their stay here.
Many people have been asking me about Japanese Maples (Acers) and we will be getting in a large delivery of named varieties in about 3-4 weeks time – i promise to pop a post on the blog as soon as they arrive – so watch this space.
Please enjoy the pictures i shot in the garden this week, shown below –
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