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2017 Blog Posts
Back In Japan
2nd November 2017 : October saw a quick trip to Japan, and a visit and catch up with the Furukawa family at Furukawa Teijuen. It rained! It never rains in Japan in October, that's what we told ourselves as we packed our lightweight, end of summer clothes. How wrong we were. The Furukawa brothers, A chan, Kan chan and… Read More
When Monty came to visit
25th August 2017 : Much excitement when Monty Don came over to film for Gardeners' World a couple of weeks ago. Monty and Jake spent the day cloud pruning Phillyrea latifoila, discussing the merits of various alternatives to box, swapping sharpening tips, and having a good old rummage through Jake's Japanese shear… Read More
This is how our Nata is made
16th August 2017 : Visits to factories are always fun. Visits to Japan are always fun anyway, but factories even more so. We visited our Nata maker, Kanenori, up in Niigata, earlier this year, and caught them mid way through a run. It was fascinating to see the production line, with half a dozen people involved in… Read More
Settling down for the summer
21st July 2017 : We've been having great fun, out and about at shows this summer, but we're now looking forward to a quieter few weeks over August. Will's fixing his roof, Jake's off to Devon pretending to surf, Gary's off to Legoland, poor guy. Don't forget, as you whizz down the A303 to Cornwall for your hols… Read More
The Niwaki Garden
22nd June 2017 : Jake's garden at home tends to get neglected a bit these days - weeding never has been his strong point - but it looks nice at this time of year. Pride of joy is the row of Cryptomeria japonica daisugi, behind the box waves. This was taken last night, the summer solstice, just before dark - the… Read More
June: Box Clipping!
2nd June 2017 : June! All over the land, people are rummaging through their sheds, shaking out their pruning sheets and oiling down their shears, all the while casting anxious glances at the dark clouds above - getting ready, in short, for box clipping. Derby Day (Epsom, not Kentucky) is seen as the green light… Read More
Countdown to Chelsea Flower Show
16th May 2017 : May. Everything in the garden is growing like bonkers and, let's be honest, the last thing anyone needs is to down tools, up sticks and head off to SW3 for the week. Yet here we are. The Chelsea Flower Show. Niwaki - squeezed into a slightly smaller than hoped for stand - have joined forces with… Read More
Grand Designs Live
5th May 2017 : We're approaching the end of the Grand Designs Live show at Excel in London - it's been a long old slog but the end is in sight! Come and see us this weekend, say hello to Lisa, Laura and Gary, and enter our Grand Prize with a chance to win untold riches. Read More
Cherry Blossom in Japan
15th April 2017 : A lot is written about the cherry blossom in Japan, and a lot of photos are taken of it. Head over to Instagram and see the same views snapped over and over again - each one exquisite, each one identical, save for the creative twiddling of the filter knobs. I always slightly dismissed cherry… Read More
Winter Pine Pruning
6th March 2017 : Åsmund and Thea from the Hole Artcenter, demonstrating the fine art of winter pine pruning. Hole Artcenter design, build and maintain Japanese gardens in Norway, sell our Niwaki Tripod Ladders, and have a fantastic shop in Oslo, full to the brim with Niwaki and other products. Well worth a visit. Read More
That's how the story goes.
10th January 2017 : Some time in late October, 1998, I happened to be pruning Podocarps in Asuka, a village in Nara Prefecture, famous for once having been the capital of Japan. I'd been befriended by Futoshi Yoshioka, of Asuka Zoen, whilst working at the Furukawa nursery not far away, over the hills in Osaka… Read More