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Cottered Japanese Garden
Name:Cottered Japanese Garden garden photo
Photo: Graham Gibbs

Alternate Name:Garden House, Cottered 
Address:Cottered, East Hertfordshire 
Mailing Address: 
Postal Code: 
Latitude/Longitude:lat=51.9333; long=-0.08333
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Designer(s):Kusumoto Seyomon 
Contruction Date:1905; 1923-26 
Admission:The garden is private but is open once per year with proceeds going to charity. 
Added to JGarden:12/10/2004 
Last Updated:12/16/2004 
Sources:Graham Gibbs
The Genius of Gardening. Christopher Thacker. Weidenfield and Nicolson. London 1994. ISBN 0297833545. p 313.
JGarden Description:Herbert Cooke (1865-1937) began developing this 6-acre garden 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).

For further reading:
Herbert Cooke. The Japanese Garden at Cottered, Herts 1905-1933. 1933. 

A Pair of Stones

Two chunks of gray-green stone,
their shapes grotesque and unsightly,
wholly unfit for practical uses --
ordinary people despise them, leave them untouched.
Formed in the time of primal chaos,
they took their place at the mouth of Lake Taihu,
ten thousand ages resting by the lakeshore,
in one morning coming into my hands!

Pole-bearers have brought them to my prefectural office
where I wash and scrub away mud and stains.
The hollows are black, deeply scarred in mist,
crevices green with the rich hue of moss.
Aged dragons coiled to form their feet,
old swords stuck in for the crown,
I suddenly wonder if they didn't plummet from Heaven,
so different from anything in this human realm!

One will do to prop up my lute,
one to be a reservoir for my wine.
The tip of one shoots up several yards,
the other has a hollow, will hold a gallon of liquid!
My five-stringed instrument leaning on the left one,
my single wine cup set on the right,
I'll dip from the hollowed cask and it will never go dry,
though drunkenness long since has toppled me over.

Every person has something he loves,
and things all yearn for a companion.
More and more I fear that gatherings of the young
no longer will welcome a white-haired gentleman.
I turn my head, ask this pair of stones
if they'd consent to keep an old man company.
And though the stones are powerless to speak,
they agree that we three should be friends.

  Bai Juyi [Po Chu-i]

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