Japanese Garden Journal
The United Kingdom and Ireland play host to
about 50 public Japanese gardens. In an effort to identify the most
noteworthy, JOJG distributed a survey to experts there. The survey posed one
question: “What are the highest-quality Japanese gardens in the UK and
Ireland?” We encouraged participants to apply their own definition of the
word “quality.” The following six gardens were selected as the top Japanese
gardens in that region:
1. Tatton Park (photo, above)
Most experts agree this is the finest Japanese garden in the United
Kingdom and Ireland. Originally built in 1910, it received a major
renovation in 2001. Its memorable features include a teahouse and handsome
bamboo enclosure fences. From time to time Tatton Park has offered Japanese
garden classes and workshops
2. SOAS London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
The School of Oriental and African Studies has a rooftop dry garden with
a checkerboard motif similar to the one seen at Tofuku-ji.
3. Lauriston Castle
Cramond Road South, Davidson’s Mains
Edinburgh, Scotland EH4-5QD
This 1-hectare stroll garden was built by Takashi Sawano and opened in
August 2002. It overlooks the Firth of Forth.
4. Dartington Hall
This is a small dry garden that was opened in 1991. It includes an entry
gate, machiai, and hillside tamamono shrub arrangement.
5. Irish National Stud
The Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens.
Tully, Kildare, N7
This site is a combination of horse breeding and JN gardening. Created in
1910, the garden’s theme is the “Cycle of Human Life.”
6. Holland Park
Kensington High St. and Holland Park Ave.
Also known as the “Kyoto Garden,” this medium-sized pond and waterfall
garden was opened in a London City Park in 1991.
Photo courtesy of the UK Japanese Garden Society
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