Welcome to our Slow Life Japan blog

In Grange we have to contend with badgers, squirrels and pigeons.  In Itoshima it’s monkeys, skunks and raccoons.  My first taste of gardening was 15 years ago at Yewbarrow House and, bizarrely, I found myself at Huis Ten Bosch, near Nagasaki, in 2010 representing England in the first Gardening World Cup. I fell in love with this southern part of Japan then, and resolved, if the opportunity arose, to build a garden there. Now, in 2016 we’ve found the perfect plot - 10,000 square metres of land by the coast in an area called Itoshima but which could just as well be in the French Riviera.  As with Yewbarrow House, we are starting with a blank canvas- blank except for the fact that it’s covered in bamboo and an assortment of old trees and general detritus. This blog will record our first faltering steps in making something beautiful here, with the help of Workaway volunteers, under the guidance of Matt, who played such a large part in creating the garden in Grange.
Monkeys, and skunks and raccoons - watch out!

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