Planning a Japanese Garden Construction Workshop

Last July I was asked to assist with the planning & implementation of a workshop being organised by the Scottish branch of the Japanese Garden Society (JGS) in a member’s garden near Stirling.  The workshop is being held on Sunday 1 September 2013 and will be led by Professor Maseo Fukuhara of the Department of Environmental Design at Osaka University of Arts.
Professor Fukuhara designed a Japanese garden for the 2001 Chelsea Flower Show, which won Gold and Best in Show, and he guided the building of the Japanese garden at Kew (1996), the renovation of the Japanese garden at Tatton Park (2000/1) and the rebuilding of the rock garden at RHS Wisley, along with other European projects, so I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to be involved in a hands-on garden build with such an emminent Japanese master gardener.
 Following the initial site visit last year, I prepared a simple survey of the garden area being considered for the workshop, to be sent to Professor Fukuhara, along with an initial Health & Safety Risk Assessment, required by the JGS.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Fukuhara, along with his translator and other members of the workshop committee, at the garden near Stirling, to discuss his initial design ideas & to consider all the practicalities of the workshop day.  During the meeting we had the opportunity to see photographs and plans of some of the Professor’s recent private design work in the UK, which was a real treat for me!

The new Japanese garden will form part of a large established garden and will have as its theme the Moss Garden at Saiho-ji temple in Kyoto, which the garden owner fell in love with during a visit to Japan a number of years ago.  We are now eagerly awaiting the sketch design for the garden so that we can begin to source appropriate rocks & plants, which the Professor has asked us to photograph and send to him in Japan, so that he can mull over how best to position them within the garden.

Japanese garden

The Japanese Garden Workshop will be available to both JGS members and non-members, and more information can be obtained from the secretary of the Scottish JGS:

(see September 2013 for photos of the workshop event)

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