Gardens I have visited

Foggy Bottom, Bressingham, Norfolk

In the early 1970’s I visited this garden in it’s creative phase. Planted by Adrian Bloom this 6 acre conifer garden has developed significantly over the last 40 years to show how conifers can be laid out and under planted with great success. In 2016 I re-visited the garden and...

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Bressingham Dell Garden, Norfolk

Bressingham Gardens date back to the 1950’s when Alan Bloom converted his 150 acres of land into the largest perennial           nursery in Europe. His five acre Dell Garden introduced the idea of planting oval or island beds of perennials rather than straight borders along a wall...

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Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire

I have visited Hidcote many times over the years.The garden is divided into a series of ‘outdoor rooms’, each with its own character.Each garden room provides a new view and range of plants in which to sit and enjoy. The formality of the ‘rooms’ melts away as you move through...

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Sumitomo Garden and Villa

During our trip to Japan we were lucky enough to be escorted around Kyoto by an old friend of my uncle Stan, Mr Sumitomo. He took us to visit his family home which was a fabulous traditional Japanese house. What was a particular privilege was the chance to see a private Japanese garden. I realized that Mr. Sumitomo came from a very wealthy family. His business card said that he was the advisor to Sumitomo Industries Ltd which I suspect that this was the Japanese way of discretely saying retired owner. The brochure of Sumitomo Industries said it turned over 9 billion dollars!

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Daisen Inn, Daitoku-ji monastery, Kyoto

I also re-visited one of the most famous and inspiring gardens in Japan, The Daisen In Shoin temple garden at Daitoku-ji Monastery, Kyoto. I arranged to sit with the Abbot one morning on the meditation platform beside the garden, to enjoy a discussion with him. He performed a Japanese tea ceremony, a very formal way of serving green tea with a bowl and tea powder and stirring in the hot water with something that looked like an old-fashioned shaving brush.

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Eheiji Monastery

The concept for the garden was strengthened that summer when I visited Eheiji a Soto Zen Buddhist monastery (Temple of Eternal Peace) in the western alps of Japan. I was only allowed to stay there by agreeing to follow the practices of a Zen priest and initially having been locked...

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