This Japanese garden is called ‘Sui ou tei’, which refers to the national flowers of Japan and Wales, the cherry blossom and the daffodil.
It combines three different traditional Japanese garden styles: the pond-and-hill garden, the dry garden and the tea garden. Japanese garden styles have developed over a 1400-year history, each style celebrating the changing seasons in different ways.
Such changes illustrate the transience of life, and tiny details, such as leaf buds opening in springtime, play an important role by drawing attention to the passage of time.
In the last 150 years, Japanese gardens have been created all over the world, adapted to local conditions. They are appreciated for their tranquillity and sense of calm when visitors take the time to absorb the scenes presented by the garden.
History of the Japanese Garden
Constructed in 2001, the garden started life as a Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, winning a Gold medal and coveted ‘Best in Show’ for its designer, Professor Masao Fukuhara. As part of the Japan 2001 festival, the Japanese government co-sponsored the garden with The Daily Telegraph.
The Japanese ambassador, Sadayuki Hayashi, suggested that after Chelsea the garden be given a permanent home at the newly opened National Botanic Garden of Wales. Professor Fukuhara and his team of Japanese gardeners rebuilt the garden here during November, 2001.
By 2017 renovation work was needed. The Japanese Garden Society (JGS) led a restoration programme, part-funded by the Japanese government. Repairs to the building, wall, paths and bamboo fence, extensive pruning and replanting were completed in spring, 2019.