Here you will find some of the most frequently asked questions & answers. If you cannot find the answer to a question you might have please get in touch.
Q: When are you reopening?
Q: Do we have to book if we only want to visit the Shop?
You have 2 options: Book via the online Booking Calendar to reserve a time-slot to visit (the £5.00 deposit taken at the time of booking will be deducted from any purchases you make). This will guarantee your spot and will avoid possible disappointment.
Or ring us on the day you would like to visit to see how busy we are – we might be able to allow you in without booking if we are quiet enough.
We have usually found in the past (before the pandemic) that the shop and garden tend to get quieter from about 4-6pm so I would recommend ringing us on the day and if you are hoping to come in; aim for the later part of the day.
Q: How has our business been made Covid-Safe?
Below is a list of precautions we have taken to ensure the safety of our customers and our staff:
- Perspex screens fitted around the counter areas
- Signage to inform customers to Socially Distance, and to inform about changes to the business
- Floor tape to demonstrate 2 meter distances throughout the shop
- Hand sanitizer available for staff and customers in the shop
- Soap located by the taps in both the Young Tree and Outdoor Bonsai Sections
- Anti-bacterial spray/wipes will be available for staff
- Face masks will be available for customers to purchase
- Face masks will be provided to staff – should staff need to assist a customer or come out from behind the perspex screen they will wear a mask
- Customers will be provided with bags so they can package their own purchases – to reduce the contact
- Doors will remain open at all times – unless temperatures drop to an uncomfortable level
- Booking system now in effect – customers now book online prior to visiting the garden to spread out visits and limit numbers
- A One-way system has been implemented at the time of visitors arrival – they will be served through the side window and they will enter the garden directly; without going through the shop
- One-way garden exit – the exit will bring visitors back to the shop via a new pathway and customers will exit out of the main double doors when they leave
Q: How do I book a time-slot so I can visit?
Please see the Step-by-step guide below which explains how you make a booking and book your visit via our Booking page.
The Booking Process – Step By Step Guide
- ‘Bringing anyone with you?’ – Click to toggle this option on and select how many additional people you want to bring with you (there are 8 available spaces per 30 minute time-slot only).
- Please include everyone who will be visiting including, Children 3 years old +, Season Pass holders, carers and ‘free garden entry ticket’ holders.
- Select the time-slot that you would like to arrive within – the available time-slots will be displayed for you to select (if a time-slot is NOT showing it means there are not enough spaces left in that slot for the number of people you are trying to book for – so please select another available slot)
- Continue to the booking form and fill in your details (please check your email address is correct otherwise you will not receive your confirmation email)
- Check the total number of people you have booked to visit before you confirm your booking.
- Confirm your booking which will take you to your Cart page.
- Check the items in your cart to make sure your booking is included and pay the £5.00 deposit by either logging in to Paypal or select the ‘Proceed to Checkout’ option (you can pay via Credit or Debit card without a Paypal account)
- Once payment is complete you will receive a Booking Confirmed email (please make sure your email address is correct before confirming your booking).
- Your booking is now complete and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Q: Having trouble making a booking?
Please check the following before you contact us:
– Try using a browser such as Google Chrome or Incognito – Both these browsers have often worked well when others have struggled.
– Clear your browser history – and the cache.
– Check you have pop-ups enabled – and enable them if they are not via your browser Settings.
– If none of these things work – try opening a Private window in your browser and try to book via this.
If you are still struggling to book then please do get in touch with us and we will try to assist you.
Q: The slot I want to book is not available to select for the number of people I want to book for, why?
If a time-slot is not showing up for you to select (after you have filled in how many additional people you would like to book for) it means that particular time-slot does not have enough spaces available for the number of people you want to book for as its already been booked by other visitors – please select a time-slot that IS available for your group.
Q: I don’t have a Paypal account, can I still make a booking and pay my deposit?
YES – when you have selected your booking slot and filled in your booking information you will see your booking in your shopping Cart – you will have the option to ‘Proceed to Checkout‘ which will give you the option to login to a Paypal account or select the button under this to ‘Pay by debit or credit card‘ – this will take you to the Paypal Guest Checkout where you can fill in your billing details and checkout without a Paypal account.
Q: I have a season pass, do I still have to pay a booking deposit when I book to visit?
NO – If you are a season ticket holder or you have a Free garden entry ticket, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a Coupon Code. Enter the Coupon Code when you are filling in the Booking form and this will allow you to make the booking without the deposit payment. We just ask that if you cannot make your visit, you ring or email us as soon as you can so we can cancel your booking and open up the spaces for other visitors.
Q: I need to cancel my booking later the same day, can I have a refund of my deposit?
If you cancel your booking 24 hours ahead of your booking then we will refund your booking deposit in full. Given the nature of the current situation we are unable to refund the £5 booking deposit if a booking is canceled after the 24 hour notice window. This is because we have limited the number of booking slots available to a very small number to keep everyone safe but it does put our business at risk financially. If we are informed of a cancelation a full 24 hours ahead of the booking we can open up the slots for other visitors.
Q: I booked for several people but some of my group cant make it, is this ok?
If one or several of your group cannot visit for the pre-booked visit, please email or phone us to inform us of the change in numbers at least 24 hours ahead of your booking so we can change your booking and open up the slots for other visitors.
If you inform us later than the 24 hour notice period your £5 deposit will be taken as payment for the missing person/persons for your booking. This also applies if you arrive with less than your booked number of visitors.
Q: When are you open?
We are open from 10am until 6pm (last entrance to the Japanese Garden at 5pm), 7 days a week from the 1st of March until the 31st of October each year. Including Sundays and Bank holidays.
Q: How much is entrance to the Garden?
Admission Prices –
Children: £2.50 (3 – 16 years)
Concessions: £4.50 (Seniors (60+), Students (16 +), Disabled, NHS Staff & Armed Forces)
Babies/in buggies free
Shop & plant areas are admission free.
This year we will be offering Season Tickets for £10 – which will enable one person to visit the Japanese Garden as often as they like during our opening dates & times. See our Visit page for full details.
Q: How can we find you?
Please visit our Find Us page for directions & Map
Q: Do you have a cafe & refreshments?
We do not currently have a cafe but watch this space as we are aiming to build one in the future. There are 2 venues very close-by to us that do serve food and drinks, within a 5 minute walking distance.
Q: Is there a car-park & is there a parking charge?
Yes there is a car park for visitors & there is no charge.
Q: Is there toilets?
We do not have toilets on site but the public toilets are just a few meters away from our car park entrance (less than a 2 minute walk).
Q: Do you allow dogs?
Dogs are not allowed in The Japanese Garden itself (except guide dogs), but we are happy for well behaved dogs to visit our shop and nursery areas if on a lead.
Q: Do you accept payments by debit and credit card?
Yes we do. We cannot accept American Express but most other debit and credit cards are fine to use. We do not accept cheques.
Q: What is the concept behind the Japanese Garden in Cornwall?
Please have a look at our Garden page for details.
Q: Do you still sell Bonsai trees & accessories?
Yes we do! The Bonsai Nursery is not gone by any means, we have just scaled down the number of outdoor Bonsai trees that we used to stock. We still sell a variety of trees, indoor & outdoor & some pots, tools & of course our Bonsai Compost.
*Free Entry Ticket Terms & Conditions *
Each ticket grants one individual one free entry to the garden. Please present the physical ticket at the counter to claim your free visit. Tickets cannot be exchanged for money or used for discount on purchases. A photograph of a ticket will not be accepted; the physical ticket must be presented at the counter to claim free entry. Please get in touch prior to your visit if you have any questions regarding your ‘Free Entry Ticket’.
Topics: Watering, Mist Spraying, Feeding, Compost, Repot & Root-Prune, Situation,
The best way to water a bonsai is to stand it in water, to just below the rim of the pot, for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the soil is fully saturated. Check the surface of the soil with fingertip daily, & when dry to the touch, stand in water again. Watering needs vary according to size of tree/pot, rate of growth, time of year & situation, however following this regime you will get to know the requirements of your trees. They need to be well watered, then allowed to drain, NOT kept fully saturated all the time – roots need air too to function well. In hard water areas use rainwater – a build up of lime in the soil is harmful.
Raising the humidity level is very important when keeping trees indoors, & mist spraying is an excellent method. WARNING – Beginners Beware – This will NOT water the tree but will moisten the surface of the soil. Check the surface with a fingertip BEFORE spraying, so you know when your tree needs watering properly again. Outdoors the British climate rarely necessitates additional moisture, however during dry spells mist spray as described. In all cases late afternoon or evening is the best time to spray, as strong sun on wet foliage causes damage both through glass & outdoors.
Healthy trees thrive when given the additional salts, minerals & trace elements they need. However if your tree appears unwell stop feeding until the problem is resolved & it is growing vigorously again. We recommend the use of slow release organic fertilisers – dry granules that are rubbed into the surface of the soil & are slowly absorbed as required when the tree is watered. Assuming that the compost is good, one pinch per month should be ample, during the growing season. If you have an indoor tree that continues to grow well during the winter, you may continue to feed less frequently, but stop feeding when dormant or, as mentioned above, when poorly. There are numerous liquid feeds on the market & powders that are added to water. If you use these types of fertiliser do ensure that your tree is well watered before adding – liquid feed can burn roots if the soil is dry.
In general we use the compost that we make here for most types of tree [adding more grit for pines etc]. We have described its composition in our booklet entitled “Introduction & General Care of Bonsai”, which we wrote for first-time bonsai growers & give away free with every tree. Copies available on request for £1.00 + an A5 s.a.e. Good bonsai compost should contain plenty of horticultural grit to aid the development of feeder roots & ensure a good free-draining mix. Years ago we bought a ready-made bag of “bonsai compost” [so called] but were disappointed to find that it did not contain the necessary amount of grit, leaf mold etc. This prompted us to put our compost into bags for our customers. All gardeners say their own compost is the best & we are no exception!
Re-pot & Root Prune
We repot to provide fresh, fertile compost, to ensure that we maintain a healthy root system that has room to develop, and, or, to change the appearance / planting style. Trees grow fastest when young, the rate of growth slowing with maturity, so in general we repot the younger trees every 2 – 3 years and older trees as & when necessary. The best time to repot is early spring or late autumn when the tree is dormant, not in the spring / summer when it is growing fast and the roots need to be functioning at optimum. Now is the time to check the root system, and if there are roots winding round the pot tease them out gently and trim back. In this way you provide space for new roots to develop, promote more vigorous growth, and prevent the roots from choking themselves. Treat with care after repotting / root-pruning to minimise stress, particularly with indoor trees & other evergreens as they are still maintaining the top foliage albeit slowly. A little more shade, if usually situated in a very bright spot, will aid recovery.
All trees need plenty of light, and good air circulation. Outdoors protect from direct sun and wind. Indoors do not place too close to the window [especially when south- facing], where foliage can be burned through glass, or close to a source of heat, such as a radiator or television.
Most frequently problems arise when trees are not watered correctly, and, or, are badly situated. Following the notes above will rectify these difficulties simply and quickly. Pests such as greenfly can be eradicated by spraying with a proprietary insecticide available at most garden centres. However trees can withstand pests like these in large numbers, so if you are experiencing serious problems the humble greenfly may not be the culprit. A poorly tree is more susceptible to damage by pests or fungal attack. Whilst I do not rule out the use of a pesticide or fungicide when absolutely necessary, I do recommend a thorough examination of the circumstances that may have led to a weakening of the tree prior to the infestation.