Gardens Illustrated Magazine

Spirit of Japan

There are certain things – ouzo and retsina are two good examples – that should never be taken out of their home country. This is true for Japanese gardens. Make one outside of Japan and it is often little more than a Disneyfied pastiche. The reasons are simple: Japanese gardens are a complex art form based on deep meanings and symbolism and are closely bound to that country’s spiritual culture and environment.

Yet if you can distil the essence of what they are, there are so many

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