Hidcote’s garden team is preparing for more interest from Japanese visitors, following a successful trip to Japan where they have been sharing their knowledge of English gardens with Japanese gardeners.
As well as lecturing, Glyn Jones, the Head Gardener at Hidcote, took part in a garden show where he jointly designed an entry using English design ideas.
The garden was part of the Rose and Garden Show held in a baseball stadium in Tokyo.
Glyn explained: ‘A well known Japanese gardener Kay Yamada was the principle designer and I worked closely with her to create a show garden based on the Arts and Crafts movement – taking a lot of ideas from Hidcote, it had mixed borders, with perennials and spring bulbs.
‘It was interesting to see the different styles of the other gardens there and the high level of care and precision shown by Japanese gardeners.’
Although Kay and Glyn’s garden was not judged, it generated a lot of interest again strengthened links between the Cotswolds and gardeners in Japan.
‘We have been going out to Japan for the past six years or so, promoting Hidcote and the north Cotswolds and sharing our knowledge,’ added Glyn, who also undertook a short lecture tour during the trip.
‘We have links all over the world now including Sweden and the USA as well as in Japan. One of our team, Gordon Shanks, has been teaching at the Barakura school, showing how we prune rose bushes.’
The links provide benefits for the gardeners in Hidcote as well as establishing useful links to bring interesting plants to the garden.
‘Although Japan shares a similar climate and in many regards similar gardens, they have quite a different cultural approach to some of their gardens. They can often be very symbolic and spiritual but it has helped us to recognise some of the historic features here at Hidcote. There are many small details – glimpses of a sailing ship on a Delft tile in the gazebo which is perfectly framed – which were planned carefully by Lawrence Johnson for Hidcote.
‘These glimpses are very similar to some aspects of Japanese gardening and working there helps us to understand better the genius that Lawrence had in the way he detailed the gardens.’
‘Japan has a cool climate so their gardens are often similar to English gardens – although the Japanese culture and their love of some characters always come through.
More information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/Hidcote