Natural swim pond and garden


  • Dimensions: 925 m2
  • Build time: 5 months

The brief for this project was to turn an existing swimming pool into a 140,000 litre natural swim pond with Japanese landscaping. The existing pool house was replaced with an open building for alfresco dining,  an outdoor kitchen complete with a pizza oven. Between the two buildings we installed an outdoor shower with changing area. Adjacent to the outdoor kitchen is a sunken seating area with gabion benches.

The natural swim pond complete with a large regeneration zone is fed by a 7m long natural stream. At the other end of the swim pond we constructed a second stream, approximately 30m long which gently flows down into a large pre-existing pond.  A Japanese style zig-zag slate bridge crosses the regeneration zone at one end. Linking the house to the garden is a dark grey granite pathway leading to a composite decking jetty. Paving and decking are continued on the other side of the pond to provide additional seating areas.

Japanese Maples provide vibrant spring, summer and autumn colour with a variety of evergreen planting providing all year round structure to the garden, including a large specimen Chamaecyparis ‘cloud’ tree. A variety of aquatic plants were used in the regeneration zone which help to naturally filter and clean the water.

Additional work in this garden includes a long timber Pergola planted with Wisteria leading to a traditional Japanese Entrance gate with side wings to screen the garden from the boundary.

Behind the main garden, we designed and constructed a fully insulated gym, complete with a sauna and floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

Japanese Tea House, London


We were asked to design and construct a modern Japanese tea house within a pre-existing Japanese garden. The tea house is fully insulated, with elegant sliding doors and large windows. A cedar shingle roof completes the Japanese tea house. 

A bespoke Japanese bridge was made to cross the existing stream. The bridge was made with precise attention to detail and finished with golden finials that were imported from Japan. 

Modern Japanese Garden, Canterbury.


  • Dimensions: 75m2
  • Build time: 4 weeks

Within this garden a modern 60cm shallow water basin sits within a sea of 14mm silver grey zen gravel. Behind is a raised planting bed with a 75cm Kanju-ji granite lantern and a variety of Japanese planting including a Japanese Maple, pittosporum tom thumb and pieris japonica little heath. The bed is retained using silver grey palisades which were cut at different lengths for added interest. A large Ilex Cloud tree was planted within a modern grey planter. Another raised bed with rockery stone and evergreen planting to the rear of the garden. Along the side fence bamboo was planted in large modern planters.

Dark-grey granite paving forms the patio, with Japanese planing and a wooden trellis.

Japanese Tea House, Berkshire


  • Dimensions: 14m2
  • Build time: 4 weeks

With a pre-existing stream, our client wanted a traditional Japanese tea house to compliment their Japanese garden. In front of the tea house we constructed a traditional Japanese water feature using a natural bamboo spout and a 45cm Natsume bachi. 

The building is approximately 4.30m by 3.10m, with a composite deck to the front. The building is fully insulated and the roof is finished with Canadian Cedar shingles. The external walls are furnished with traditional shoji windows and a fully functioning crawl hole. The tea house sits beside the stream with one leg overhanging the pond. A low energy heating system was installed to allow year-round use.

Internally the floor was covered in Tatami mats with a narrow timber frame securing them in place. A raised Tokonoma and display area was created in one corner.  

School Garden, Kent


  • Dimensions: 130m2
  • Build time: 3 weeks

A Japanese waiting arbour was at our workshop and installed in the corner of the garden providing an attractive focal point and seating area for pupils and staff. In front of the waiting arbour is a patio of dark grey granite paving with straight benches. Beside is a raised bed containing a traditional japanese water feature and a three stone Tenshi grouping and evergreen planting. Another bed created by silver grey palisades is reflected on the opposite side, with a 128cm Oribe lantern, natural stone arrangement and evergreen planting. Within the centre of the garden is a seating area created by 3 silver grey curved granite benches. 

A narrow bed continues down the length of the garden featuring silver grey palisades standing stone arrangement and blue grey granite feature rocks with a variety of evergreen shrubs. 

Japanese Atrium, Surrey


  • Dimensions: 25m2
  • Build time: 3 weeks

A curved pathway of dark grey granite paving cuts through this outdoor garden in the centre of the house. Stepping out of the lounge towards the dining area you are immediately presented with a traditional Natsume bachi water feature arrangement, bamboo water spout and a 96cm Oribe granite lantern. Behind the arrangement is a tall japanese maple called Acer palmatum ‘pixie’. Ground cover planting includes Pieris, ophiopogon and Sarcococca humilis. The pathway leads to a seating area with a silver grey curved bench to sit and enjoy the garden whilst taking in the sweet scent of the Sarcococca planted nearby.

The other-side of the pathway sees the second of the ‘islands’ amongst a sea of gravel. Within this planted bed are attractive sculpture stones, representing mountains with cloud shaped evergreen planting around their base. Bloombux, a new form of Rhododendron was used to create this feature. A variety of evergreen plants were incorporated into this bed to add interest and a weeping red Japanese acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’ proudly emerging from behind the feature rocks.

Japanese Tea House and Garden, Reading


  • Dimensions: 90m2
  • Build time: 8 weeks

Panel walls were constructed to cut off the view of the Japanese garden from the house. A simple moon gate opening offers a glimpse of the garden, creating a secluded or ‘secret’ Japanese garden. The Japanese garden was built on top of an old filled in swimming pool. This meant that to incorporate planting, raised beds were created in combination with attractive black planters. Features within the garden include a ‘fishermans net’ with a Tenshi standing stone arrangement and attractive granite half spheres. Within the raised beds are some Japanese maples, a traditional water feature arrangement, blue grey granite feature stones and evergreen domed-shaped planting. 

A path of irregular stepping stones takes you through the garden and around to an area of decking upon which a Japanese tea house was built. The teahouse is fully insulated with heating, plumbing and electrics making it a fully functioning area for entertaining guests. A table elevates up when needed, and can be lowered to floor level when not in use to make the room more versatile. Inside furnishings also included creating a tokonoma, a raised alcove for art appreciation. 

Wellness Week 2019, The Shard London


After a successful campaign last year we were invited back again to the Shard to create another Japanese Garden for their 2019 wellness week campaign.

In collaboration with Emulsion Architecture, the Japanese garden was designed to create a space of quiet reflection and escapism for the employees working within the Shard building.

Mitsubishi Corporation Product Launch, Eiffel Tower Paris


We were invited to create a Japanese Garden within the Eiffel Tower for Mitsubishi Corporation ‘Spacejet’ launch ahead of The Paris Airshow 2019.

The Japanese company wanted a display garden that encapsulated their core values; a foliated quartzite standing stone arrangement represented strength and power, a powder coated shallow basin demonstrated purity and the importance of reflection whilst a Kasuga lantern was placed on the stage to highlight the importance of history and tradition. A variety of plants within planters were also positioned on the stage around a sea of 6mm silver grey gravel consisting of Rhododendron mic ‘bloombux’, Pieris ‘Little Health’, Nandina domestica ‘Richmond’, Fargesia murelae ‘Rufa’ and Japanese blood grass. Specimen plants included a 30-year old Pinus mugo ‘carstens wintergold’, a weeping cedar and an Acer palmatum ‘crimson queen’.

Howard and the team are extremely honoured to have created the first garden display in history within the Eiffel Tower, Paris. The weekend was a great experience that will not be forgotten quickly. We would again like to take the opportunity to thank Mitsubishi Corporation and BCD Meetings & Events for inviting us to be part of this successful and memorable collaboration.

Sea and Islands Japanese Garden, Leeds


  • Dimensions: 270m2
  • Build time: 8 weeks

The theme of this garden is a ‘sea of gravel’ with lush undulating planting beds surrounding the sea. Bold features within the garden include a 120cm Kanjuji granite lantern, 90cm shallow bachi, blue grey granite feature stones and a Japanese cloud pruned Chamaecyparis amongst many Japanese maples and evergreen planting.

Besides a pre-existing Japanese tea house, a tall granite palisade feature garden was created, with cloud planting at the base complimented by a tall red leaf Acer Palmatum ‘Fireglow’ Japanese maple.