The Japanese Garden at Cowden – The Zen Garden

Zen garden, The Japanese Garden at Cowden, Scotland

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go to The Japanese Garden at Cowden again, it was a sparkling day and it was the first time we had really felt any warmth this year, and we were really enjoying our visit, but it’s obviously not for everyone as we heard a fairly youngish woman complaining bitterly that she had paid a lot of money to get in and there was hardly anything to see! She said that loudly as she walked quickly past what I think is a beautiful, if small Zen garden, and she didn’t even glance at it. Oh well, it takes all sorts I suppose.

Zen garden, The Japanese Garden at Cowden, Scotland

Zen garden, The Japanese Garden at Cowden

Japanese garden design seems to incorporate a lot of moss, which is something I’m going to have to embrace in my own garden I think after all the wet weather has encouraged it so much.

But nothing is perfect, I’m sure that in Japan a Zen garden wouldn’t have a redwood and lots of various mature conifers in the background, but I can see why the designer decided to leave them in situ.

We enjoyed the afternoon there anyway, although I must admit that we took advantage of this month’s Gardeners’ World magazine offer. It seemed steeply priced at almost double the normal cost, it was £9.99 but came with seeds and a 2 for 1 ticket entry into lots of famous gardens all over Britain. After visiting this garden we’re already quids in.


2 thoughts on “The Japanese Garden at Cowden – The Zen Garden

  1. I smiled when I read about the disgruntled lady.

    Back in the 1970s, some friends and I took my mother around Kyoto. One of the places we visited was the Ryoanji Temple, the most famous Zen garden of all.

    You remove your shoes at the entrance before stepping up onto the polished wooden flooring. You turn right, then left, going counter-clockwise. At the end of a short corridor is the famous garden. You turn left, walk along the veranda admiring the garden, then left again, bringing you back to the entrance.

    My mother was the first to remove her shoes and, putting on the slippers provided, shuffled off down the marked route. My friends and I were still removing our shoes when she reappeared, having done the circuit in less than twenty seconds. “Very nice,” she said. “Where do we go next?”

    • Janusz,
      She sounds so like my own mother. If I went into a shop with her she would walk around it in a very short time and then go to the door where she would turn round, look at me and whistle at me to follow her, as if I was a dog! I didn’t of course, but she wasn’t happy about it. She was also the only person I knew who hated daisies, which says it all I think.
      I would have so appreciated that Zen garden.

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