Friday, June 21, 2013

The Japanese Garden in Hertfordshire

Herbert Cooke (1865-1937) began developing a 6-acre garden in Cottered in 1905 after a visit to he made to Japan in that year. Japanese garden features were imported and the design was developed over the following 30 years. In 1923, Japanese designer Kusumoto Seyemon was engaged to complete the design, incorporated a lake, streams, cascades, stone work, buildings, gates and arches with maples, azaleas, wisteria, bamboo, iris on dwarf conifers. Kusumoto worked periodically over the next three years. The Japanese-style garden still occupies 2.5 hectares with additional ornamental garden and woodland of 2 hectares. The house is on the English Heritage Register (GD1545). 
This garden was featured on the BBV TV programme Gardeners' World earlier this evening and will should be available to view on the BBC site for about a week. The garden is private and not normally open to the public, but will be opening on Sunday (June 23rd) from 11.00 am – 4.00 pm as part of the Cottered Village Festival. 

The BBC approached me to see if they could use the above picture of the gardens in about the 1930's, from my Cottered page, but finally decides to use a somewhat earlier newspaper cutting.


  1. Thanks for the info. Hoping to go there today. Looks amazing!

  2. I love Japanese gardens especially after visiting Japan and I am very keen to see this wonderful garden as shown on
    Gardeners World. Too late this year but perhaps I'll make it next year.

    1. The first Japanese Garden I visited was in Sydney some years ago and I was most impressed. I was also interested to see the small example at Dartington Hall, in Devon, when I was there for the most recent school reunion.

  3. It was actually Herbert Goode (not Cooke)


This is the newsletter for the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web site. Comments on this blog are moderated and may be transferred to the web site where appropriate. If you have a local or family history query you want answered you must use "Ask Chris" - See box in right hand column. Anonymous comments cannot be answered.