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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. 

Saihoji Temple, Kyoto
Actuality is emblem here: a walled-in garden
With its hieroglyph of the heart a lake with lotuses,
And its stones and trees a figure of ascent
From painted maze and sensuous paradise
To the Pure Land of the mind, the interior garden.
All paths wind inward to this inward mirror --
Reflecting-pool of primitive solitude --
Where the mind, quiescent, meditates its shadow,
In the garden's Heart this cipher of the heart.

Some bonze cropped bald by wisdom's scythe, to glean
In Chinese glaosses on the Sakya sage
Reality's scattered kernels, planted here
A green and less laborious commentary:
Perpetual witness of the perfect stillness.

Only the moss speaks still, a living scroll;
From the lakeshore to the hillside a silver-green
Page of continuous discourse where the foot moves
More soundlessly that thought along the paths laid
Over ten centuries ago
For the saints rehearsing sutras.

Their path unfolding in a single text,
They moved on an obscure way more quietly
Than the arhat's mantras or the lohan's prayer;
And bruised no stone, no grasses in their passing,
The ground of their desire inviolate.

Nameless, they merged into indifferent turf,
Engrossed in one impartite grace of green,
Their separate deaths lost in this single life --
Men without memory, without distinction.
Though earth assumes them like a scroll rolled up,
The path is fragrant still because they passed here.

  John M. Steadman
  20th Century

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