Chelsea Artisan garden inspired by ‘Omotenashi’

The Japanese concept of wholehearted and sincere hospitality received with gratitude will be the theme for the Artisan garden of popular Chelsea designer Kazuyuki Ishihara MSGD at this year’s (2018) RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Multi-gold medal winner, Mr Ishihara has thrilled and delighted Chelsea visitors for several years with his wonderful and beautiful artisan gardens and 2018 looks like being no exception.

OMOTENASHI” will provide a feeling of hospitality, demonstrated by the thoughtful appreciation of one’s visitors – one of the central and beautiful virtues of Japanese culture. The garden is also inspired by the Muromachi era – (1338-1573) a period of great cultural growth, the unique arts of the tea ceremony, flower arranging and beautiful waterside vegetation in fields and mountains.

The ‘beauty without waste‘ concept refreshes and calms visitors and they can enjoy the expression of the four seasons in wild flowers. The view from the Azumaya (Garden House) will inspire wonder in valued guests.

The garden has an entrance, waterfall, pond and octagonal garden house, the low entrance gate, requiring a stoop, encourages mindfulness. The Azumaya is purposefully low, focusing the visitor’s view and highlighting the garden’s compassionate appearance. The natural sound of water falling on rock encourages the forgetting of time and the feeling of eternity.

Mr Ishihara will use traditional Japanese roof tiles, painting (made from plants) and rusty copper plate (green rust plate) while the plants and the building can be integrated and blended into the landscape. The construction techniques will exemplify Japanese original carpenters’ skills such as roof construction.

(pictured above) Gosho No Niwa from RHS Chelsea 2017 (Gold Medal)

Chelsea visitors who know Mr Ishihara’s work will also know that he is a master of perfection and there is no doubt that the gardening skill exemplified in the planting and pruning techniques on this year’s garden will be nothing short of superb.

Plants will include Acers, Pinus, Iris sibirica, farfugium japonicum and mosses. The base colours are light and shades of green with the underfoot plants being purple and white, expressing the natural scenery of the Satoyama. The wide beauty of this scene is framed by many kinds of plants and deciduous trees that bud all at once in the Satoyama, reminding Mr Ishihara of his place of birth.

‘Omotenashi no NIWA – The Hospitality Garden’ designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara and sponsored by G-Lion & Cat’s Co. Ltd., will be built by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory Ltd.

Photo credits: Garden plan (banner) © Kazuyuki Ishihara, middle: Gosho No Niwa ©Reckless Gardener