East Meets Rest; WEEKEND: GARDENING: ANN EVANS LOOKS AT THE ART OF JAPANESE HORTICULTURE
Byline: ANN EVANS
JAPANESE gardens have never been more popular here in Britain.
And no wonder, with such a varied range of beautiful Japanese trees, shrubs and flowers now readily available at garden centres and nurseries.
These days many of our popular plants came originally from Japan, finding their way to these shores from the 17th century onwards by western travellers visiting the Orient.
For gardeners wanting to know more about Japanese gardens, the Japanese Garden Society which was founded in 1993 exists to bring together anyone who is interested in appreciating and learning more about this lovely style of garden.
Kira Dalton of Long Itchington is the national honorary secretary for the society. Kira said: "I first fell in love with the Japanese style of garden after seeing a picture of one many years ago. It was love at first sight and I knew that at the first opportunity I would make one."
These days Kira visits Japan at every chance she gets and points out that there are different styles of Japanese garden, all very different, from those which are mainly rocks and hard landscaping with very few plants, to others which are rich with plants and need a lot of maintenance.
She added: "I think the Japanese-style of garden is so popular because of its simplicity and the sense of relaxation that you get from this type of garden."
David Burgess, is press officer for the society as well as a designer and manufacturer of oriental bridges and tea houses. He agreed, adding: "Japanese gardens have the unique characteristics of peace and tranquillity. These gardens are designed with space in mind.
"You can take a nicely-shaped shrub or tree and set it against a background creating a work of art."
Locally, garden lovers can view the new Japanese garden created by members of the society at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The garden is being officially opened by His Excellency Mr Yoshiji Nogami, Ambassador of Japan, later this month. …