Gardens of note

Visits to influential or otherwise significant gardens prompt me to consider gardens as indicators of cultural practices and values.


Early morning at Ryoan-ji

It is very quiet. Nothing moves. The precision of this highly fragile arrangement is breathtaking. It is the expression of a simple idea full of infinite variation. This is the most famous Zen garden in the world – Ryoan-ji.

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High Beeches

High Beeches is different

There are no prescribed routes to follow, no obviously engineered views. The remarkably sparse planting opens a multitude of angles. Walking through the garden presents ever changing compositions of shapes, textures, colours. Every visitor is invited to find their own perspective.

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Travelling to the gardens of Japan

I had been fascinated – and mystified – by Japanese gardens for as long as I could remember. Seeing them in person was going to be so exciting, but would I be able to comprehend them? My interest in the history of European gardens had taught me that cultural context was essential to their understanding. Japanese culture being so very different from European, I tried to acquire as much knowledge about it as possible prior to your trip.

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Great Dixter exotic garden

An Afternoon in the Tropics

Within this spartan simplicity, cultivated with meticulous care, I feel as if I am in a Japanese temple, pleasantly sheltered, meditative. The perfect place to contemplate the beauty of nature.

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