Listed by the Daily Mail newspaper in April 2019 as one of their top 10 most inspiring spring gardens in Britain, here is what it looks like in early April 2020. Following heavy rain over the winter, all our waterfalls and strems are in full flow. We've had a great helibore season in March, and now the garden is full the yellow blossom of Forsythia and Daffodils. There are great views from the new walkway created last summer on the hillside. Even our cat Jake is enoying the sunshine!
Following a family berevement, Alan meets the Dalai Lama and visits Japanests gardens in Kyoto in a search for meaning and purpose. Following the Zen Buddhist idea of Zazen (just sitting) in nature, he becomes inspired to create his own meditation garden in Bonsall, Matlock, Derbyshire.
Cascades Gardens is a 4 acre public garden situated in Bonsall, Derbyshire. It is famous for its double hellebores and rare exotic plants of the world. Open between May and September, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 5pm.
This is a section from BBC East Midlands Today that was recorded at Cascades Gardens. The section presented by Martin Fish and John Stirland traced the flow of water from pond and stream, and canal and mill race to the ruined corn mill which originated from 1750. They highlighted all the planting opportunities that this gave owners Alan and Elizabeth Clements. Using radio microphones they were also able to simultaneously present from different ends of the garden, including the valley of the garden and along the top of the 80 foot cliff!
Alan Clements, owner of The Meditation Garden, part of the stunning Cascades House and Gardens, located in Bonsall, Derbyshire, UK, explains in this short interview with Andy Twigge from BBC Radio Derby, the origins of inspiration for the Meditation Gardens, inspired by a audacious trip to ask the Dalai Lama the meaning of life, and a trip to visit the temple gardens of Japan. You can stay at Cascades in the beautiful house and the Gardens are open to visitors most of the year round.
I often walk past a small front garden that contains three pot plants. I’m not sure what they are but they’ve been there a few years now. The plants outgrew their pots a long time ago, they desperately need repotting. In the summer they are dry and never seem to get watered by anyone. In the autumn they are full of water that doesn’t drain away, in fact I passed by them today and they were filled to the brim with rain water. In winter, when the temperature drops, they sit in frozen water-logged earth.
It seems that everyone is talking about mindfulness and wellbeing these days. Not surprising after 10 years of austerity. Perhaps it is a good sign that people want to put it all behind them and be more positive. One definition given for wellbeing is “the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose.” Issues that affect us all.