the dewy path

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dutch Japanese garden in London?

To be accurate, its the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park in London!

I was visiting London (staying overnight with my Life Long Friend from library school) to meet with a newer friend. She was on her way home to Australia from France. We had met in Kyoto last November - having narrowly missed meeting in Kyoto in the spring of 2005! So we share a love of Japan and the gardens - nay, an addiction, lets be honest here.

In all my visits to London (my hometown) I had never managed to see this garden. It was created in 1991 by the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce, and is set the lovely wooded grounds of the old Holland House. We saw squirrels, peacocks and a fox to give you some idea of the rural quality of the park. There were drifts of daffodils under the trees outside the Japanese garden, but the planting inside was well created, with acers already in leafburst and mahonias flowering quietly - but the general evergreen theme was prevalent of course. I only had my phone but snapped a few images for the portfolio of gardens.

In Japanese gardens its considered good form to go and sprinkle the stones with water when honoured guests are expected, in order to show the stones to their best advantage. As can bee seen by the surface of the water in the penultimate photo, we were obviously very special guests - as it was pelting with rain! A day of showers and strong gusts of wind in an otherwise mild spring.

We managed, of course, to find a small garden centre in the grounds of Holland Park. Quite exclusive and expensive, but a small souvenir purchase was made to travel back to Oz. And we saw some excellent small Japanese pruning shears and a large aluminium tripod ladder, imported from Japan!

The last photo is from the next day - we chanced upon an old RouteMaster bus, still in service - a number 15. Another headline missed "Australian tourist mown down by car while taking ground level photo of a No. 15 bus" The car wasn't that close, or fast as it rounded the corner, but I think the driver looked a bit bemused at seeing someone at that angle!

We had a meal out together in Soho - LLF, my Eldest Daughter (who lives in London) and the Australian Horticulturalist! The conversation flowed, and I don't think we paused for breath - only to eat and drink! A great time. I hope we can repeat on your next visit, Bruna!

Japanese gardens are wonderful, but friends are precious.

A deep bow across the continents and oceans.


  • Lovely garden , I'm sure even more wonderful live!!

    By Blogger Zen, at 5/3/07 11:03 pm  

  • The quality of the photos was very good, especially considering it was taken with a phone.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time with your longtime library friend. I am looking forward to a first time meeting with Alice from Canberra this week - can't wait! I still hope one day to meet up with you, either in London, Kyoto or here in Australia...

    Thanks for sending that photo of the books recently, I'm a bit behind on my email this week.

    By Blogger Val, at 6/3/07 12:51 am  

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