The Japanese Garden at Cowden, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

Last Monday was a bright and beautiful day so we decided to drive along The Japanese Garden at Cowden near Yetts o’ Muckhart which is in Scotland’s smallest county of Clackmannanshire.

There’s a small area given over to a gravel garden, and we watched a couple of the gardeners carefully raking the gravel and then making circular patterns in it. Luckily I managed to take this photo just before some garndparents took their grandchildren for a scuffle through it, ignoring the ‘keep out’ sign. Reading is wasted on some people!

Japanese Garden, Cowden, Scotland

As most of the cheery trees in streets, parks and gardens were already in bloom I thought it would be a good time to re-visit the Japanese gardens that we visited for the first time in the autumn. But it’ll be quite a while before anyone can sit under this tree below’s cherry blossom.

Japanese Garden, Cowden, Scotland, cherry tree

It turned out that as the original cherry trees which were planted in the garden back in the 1920s seem not to have survived, the trees that are there now are really small, having been planted recently.

But heigh-ho, we still had a lovely afternoon there. There’s still a lot of work ongoing, such as building new paths and expanding the woodland walk.

Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland
You can walk across the zig-zag bridge, if you aren’t worried about your balance, but you aren’t allowed onto the arched bridge – Health and Safety probably.
Japanese Garden , lake, Cowden, Scotland

The large pond (or is it a lake?) has a healthy amount of frog spawn in it, or maybe it’s toad spawn as when we were in the woodland walk I almost stood on this fine fellow who was sitting on the path, as I approached him I thought he was a clump of autumn leaves – or something even worse that I definitely didn’t want to put my foot in!


The Japanese Garden at Cowden is certainly worth a visit, although I must admit that we went a bit too early – well I had a ‘two for one ticket’ which was expiring the next day! In another week or so from now the maples will be looking great.
Japanese Garden , Cowden, Scotland

10 thoughts on “The Japanese Garden at Cowden, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

  1. Well those folks completely missed the point of the Zen garden, didn’t they!

    However: I love Japanese-style gardens, love how everything is positioned in just the right place to make a perfect picture.

    I have never seen a toad – they did not become established here after being introduced in the 19th century.

    • Valerie,
      I think some grandparents are afraid to say NO!

      That is such a surprise to me – that you don’t have toads in NZ. One turned up in our garden a few years ago and I hoped it would stay around as they are good at eating garden slugs, but if it’s still here – it’s keeping a low profile.

  2. I’m glad I didn’t witness those children scuffling in the gravel – sometimes people can be utterly thoughtless. But it looks beautiful in your photograph. The whole garden looks lovely – clearly a work in progress but very peaceful.

    • Sandra,
      I’ve been told that it was really badly overgrown with thuggish rhododendrons so they’ve done well even just to get rid of them. It’s a popular destination although it has only been open one year.

  3. Your post reminds me of A. E. Housman’s poem.

    Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
    Is hung with bloom along the bough,
    And stands about the woodland ride
    Wearing white for Eastertide.

    Now, of my threescore years and ten,
    Twenty will not come again,
    And take from seventy springs a score,
    It only leaves me fifty more.

    And since to look at things in bloom
    Fifty springs are little room,
    About the woodlands I will go
    To see the cherry hung with snow.

      • I used to write my own poetry and have had some published in minor publications. I memorized this poem when I went through a phase where I memorized one short poem a week. That lasted for about six weeks!

  4. What a delightfully *green* walk. We are still waiting for deep green. But at least we have green shoots and green buds. I love this garden–you have so many beautiful gardens and green places to go to.
    Do you have to worry about ticks carrying diseases?

    • Judith,
      Apparently ticks that carry diseases are becoming more common here, but I’ve never met anyone who got a disease from a tick mind you I know only one person who got a tick while dog walking. It’s quite common for dogs to get ticks if you walk them near where sheep or deer are.
      We’re still at the fairly-yellowish green shade for most trees at the moment and some are still quite bare, but it’s just so lovely to see some colour.

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