The Japanese Garden In The West: 100 Years Of Eastern Influence

Wed 4 November 2009

Amanda Herries

Amanda Herries, author of Japanese Gardens in Britain is a former curator at the Museum of London, specialising in social history and the decorative arts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Whilst living for a period in Japan, she wrote extensively on Japanese culture and art collections and lectured for Japanese audiences. Returning to live in Britain, she brought a Japanese tea-house to feature in a new garden in Scotland. She now lectures on a number of English and Anglo-Japanese subjects, including gardens.

The central theme of Amanda’s lecture was the creation of Japanese gardens in Europe which peaked in the early 20th century. She began by describing three types of Japanese garden—-dry, tea and strolling or viewing garden and how they came to the west following the Japanese-English Exhibition in 1910. This led to the publication of many catalogues advertising Japanese plants and ornaments. With the western love of multicoloured planting schemes, plethora of ornaments and vermilion coloured bridges together with a reluctance to prune or restrain plants, Amanda questioned whether gardens in the west would ever be real Japanese gardens.