2019 Blog Posts

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Top ten wood inspired Christmas presents

22nd November 2019 : We've selected our top ten Christmas presents for carpenters and wood folk, so call them in from the shed, show them this list, and get them what they want - it's much easier that way. Read More

Top ten wood inspired Christmas presents

Top five Japanese kitchen knives for Christmas presents

22nd November 2019 : Here's our pick of the best Japanese kitchen knives to give as Christmas presents this year - some outrageously expensive, others...less so, but every one a dead cert.  Read More

Top five Japanese kitchen knives for Christmas presents

Our top ten garden Christmas presents

22nd November 2019 : It can be hard to find the perfect Christmas present for the horticulturally inclined, but here's some inspiration that should satisfy even the most niche and demanding gardeners. Or, if all else fails, get them a Hori Hori.   Read More

Our top ten garden Christmas presents

Top ten Christmas presents for the home

22nd November 2019 : Here's our top ten Christmas presents for the home, should you be in need of  some curated, craft-driven, Japanese-style, country and/or city lifestyle inspiration. Read More

Top 10 Christmas presents for the home

Behind the scenes: the Niwaki Forged Trowel

9th November 2019 : Our recent trip to Japan was, as always, hard work  (yes, the rugby was on, no we didn't see any games, but yes, we caught a few in bars, and yes the Japanese are great fans, no they don't really understand rugby, but no that doesn't seem to matter) visiting makers, shows, gardens and even one or… Read More

The Niwaki Forged Trowel

Black Shed Flowers

27th August 2019 : I'm slightly making this up, filling in gaps as I go, so bear with me. A conversation with Paul leaves little room for note taking, as he bounds around from one subject to another, giving the impression that he could, and probably would if he was held down long enough - talk on that individual… Read More

Black Shed Flowers

Revisiting RHS Chelsea 2019

4th August 2019 : Such is the way with flower shows, and the early summer show season in general - that they all come at once, everyone runs around at full speed, like mad, until they burn out, or make it through to something resembling a 'quiet' spell. No time is given to reflect, and enjoy, what just happened… Read More

Niwaki 2019

令和元年5月1日

30th April 2019 : I'm sure you've all heard, Crown Prince Naruhito will become the Emperor of Japan on 1st May, and his era will be the Reiwa era. Emperor Akihito abdicates on 30th April, aged eighty five. His era, the Heisei era began in 1989. He's generally considered a good egg, and always looks wonderful along… Read More

Emperor Akihito, 1990 (BBC)

Kiyosumi Garden

28th February 2019 : Tokyo never really jumps out as a must-visit for garden lovers - I've always treated it as a means to an end, a half way house en-route to Kyoto, and because of that, had never visited Kiyosumi Garden before. A warm February Sunday changed all that, and what was planned as a quick visit turned… Read More

Kiyosumi Garden

Piece Hostel Sanjo

1st February 2019 : Last year we dropped in on the Piece Hostel Sanjo in Kyoto, a youth hostel I'd heard about and had wanted to visit for a while, mostly because of its garden. If you need a budget place to stay in Kyoto, it looks great inside, and they're building a new one opposite as well. I love this… Read More

Piece Hostel Sanjo

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