Japanese Entrance Garden with Formal Koi Pond

About This Project

  • Dimensions: 300m2
  • Build time: First phase – 4 weeks, Second phase – 4 weeks

This project involved moving and remodelling of an existing Koi pond to fit around a newly built extension. The client wanted to create a tranquil Japanese stroll garden to make use of her side entrance, linking the driveway to the rear of the property.

The central elements of the garden are a modern koi pond, clad with dark grey granite slabs. A natural stream running into the far end of the pond to improve water circulation and bring interest to the garden. A small raised teahouse catches the afternoon sun, and forms a good viewing platform.

Indoor Japanese Garden – Kimchee, Pancras Square.


  • Dimensions: 2 areas; 4x1m, 4.5x1m.
  • Build Time: Preparation work was done off-site, and installation took 3 days on site to complete.

Following the success of the first Kimchee in High Holborn, we were again approached to complete an indoor garden for a new Kimchee restaurant to open in the newly developed prestigious Pancras Square, London. We were given a brief by the Japanese architect and Mr. Kim for two different concepts; one at the entrance of the restaurant and one garden on the lower floor. The gardens were built off site at our garden centre in Kent and transported to site to be re-assembled and put in place.

The entrance garden is a modern twist on a Japanese Garden. At the forefront are some natural stones set in a ‘sea of gravel’ and surrounded by moss to represent mountains emerging from the forest. Beyond this, is a contemporary granite water feature. We were given a cad illustration of the proposed water feature, this was to form the illusion of a series of natural waterfalls. From this, we made a prototype to ensure that the proportions were correct to fit the space. We commissioned a Factory in Portugal to make the water feature. In total the water feature took 6-8 weeks from concept to completion. In the third section of the garden is more traditional Japanese garden elements, being an Oribe sand stone lantern from Japan and a large Raphis Palm.

The lower basement garden comprises of a large granite trough; a bamboo water spout feeds the trough. The water is illuminated with a low level LED strip tape. The external surface is covered by silver grey cobbles. The trough sits in front of a granite clad wall, which we had custom manufactured for this project in Spain. Although a very simple concept, it has produced a striking feature, enhancing the restaurants atmosphere.

Pictures of the finished gardens can be seen below.

Japanese Tea House and Garden around Koi Pond

About this Project

  • Dimensions: 50m x 70 m – 3,500 m2
  • Build time: 12 weeks

Our client was just completing an ambitious Koi pond and asked us to design and build a Japanese style Summer house, seating areas, planting beds and install large natural stepping stones to cross a shallow part of the pond.

The principal feature of this garden is a large Summer house made using Iroko hardwood under a cedar shingle roof with a large flat rock in the water allowing the owner to feed his fish directly in front of the building.  The rock was around 2 meters long x 1 meter wide and weighs around 2 tons.  A Japanese panel wall to the left of the building helps screen outbuildings beyond and provides an attractive backdrop for a Standing stone grouping, a Bloodgood Acer and clipped Azalea’s.

A paved seating for two of our curved beige granite benches sits beside the pond and has tall timber poles to enclose the area.  York stone crazy paving paths lead around the pond with large planting beds bordering the pond to soften the hard landscaping.

From our own stock of blue grey granite, we were able to find large, flat topped pieces to form the stepping stone path through the shallow water adding a typically Japanese detail to this project.  Other notable features include a 60 cm Misaki granite lantern on a rock in the water, and a 220 cm high Pergola style lantern beyond the pond in a prominent position.



Stream and Pond in Japanese Style Garden

About This Project

  • Dimensions: 12m x 20m – 240 m2
  • Build time: 6-8 weeks

This garden was constructed at the rear of a new build property in Harrietsham, Kent. The client had been inspired by a visit to Japan and wished to create a Japanese water garden. The main viewpoints of this garden are shown in the pictures below and the focal point being the stream which leads to a generous pond. We incorporated two seating areas at opposite ends of the garden to maximise the views. The positioning of the seating areas were also dictated by the path of the sun. It is this attention to detail in both planning and construction that allows us to create Japanese gardens which make the most of our clients outdoor space.

Traditional Japanese Water Garden

About This Project

Dimensions: 30m x 20m – 600m2

Build time: 4 weeks

The brief on this project was to refurbish an existing water garden introducing Japanese design elements. The stream and small pond were completely stripped out, reshaped and relined to give us a fresh canvas to work from. The banks of the new stream were lined with treated timber logs interspersed with natural rock. The vertical logs provided a formal structure and clean lines, while the rocks break up the shape and add visual interest.

The stepping stone path runs adjacent to the stream allowing the viewer to interact with different parts of the garden along their journey. By manipulating the viewing angles we are able to hide aspects of the stream which are revealed as you get closer to the top of the garden. This garden also features a Japanese water basin arrangement and Waiting Arbour.

Japanese Planting around Koi pond – Cranbrook

About This Project

  • Dimensions: 3 areas were worked on, covering a total of 36m x 36m
  • Build time: First phase – 3 weeks, Second phase – 2 weeks

This is the second garden we have built for this client, following a house move. This project involved landscaping the beds surrounding a new Koi pond. The client wanted to incorporate a few traditional Japanese elements, whilst ensuring year round colour and texture. We decided to put a modern twist on the area by introducing vertical granite columns and a sphere to give structure, with cloud planting at the base to add a splash of colour. On the other side of the path we placed a Shallow water basin arrangement to add running water,  Acers for seasonal colour changes and Pieris ‘Little Heath’ to offer year round interest.

Japanese Stream in Sittingbourne

About This Project

  • Dimensions: 5m x 16m – 80m2
  • Build time: 4 weeks

The rear of this garden backs on to a railway line, which the client was keen to hide. We achieved this by building a panel wall with leader roof tiles and a copper gutter detail to give the appearance of the front of a Japanese Tea House forming an attractive backdrop to the garden. A short stream runs over a small waterfall and into a tank, allowing a dry stream to flow under the bridge and into the middle of the garden. The stepping stone path winds its way across the dry stream to a gate at the rear of the garden. Other features include a Cloud tree, Eto lantern and evergreen planting on the right hand side of the garden to provide year round structure and colour.

Modern Japanese Garden – Rodmersham Green


  • Dimensions: 30m x 30m – 900m2
  • Build time: 12 weeks

This project consists of three gardens around a newly built house in Rodmersham Green, Kent. The ground floor of this two story house was built below ground level giving rise to two sunken Courtyard gardens, plus a lawned ground level area. The contemporary architecture encouraged us to create a series of modern features including a black Basalt water feature, a stainless steel blade of water from a natural slate wall, a shade sail covering an over-sized bespoke granite sofa, along with many other elements to complete the project.

1.5 Acre Japanese Stroll Garden


  • Dimensions: 1.5 acre section of large estate
  • Build time: Completed in several phases over 18 months

Built on different levels most of which was completely over grown, this is the largest project we have yet undertaken. The Client wanted to redesign the lower section of his garden which incorporated his natural Koi pond. All work, including excavation of a new stream and the transportation of over 40 tonnes of rock had to be done by hand. We created a new entrance to the garden, opening up a large expanse of terrace. By dividing this top portion into 4 sections we could use a range of different traditional Japanese garden elements. The new Yorkstone crazy paving path, which meanders through the garden is over 500 meters long and crosses the stream and pond in several places. The images below are in order showing each feature as it appears from the top of the path to the bottom. The stream requires 2 pumps to produce the 25,000 litre an hour flow that cascades down lower waterfall. Although this garden is large we have managed to make it feel intimate by using specimen plants and lush evergreen planting which enclose several viewpoints.

This garden formed the basis of Howard’s Keynote lecture at the Japanese Garden Society of Great Britain’s Annual General Meeting in 2015. Click on the images below to make them larger or share them on social media.

Modern Japanese Garden – Sevenoaks


  • Dimensions: 60m x 40m – 2,400m2
  • Build time: 3 months

In the heart of the old market town of Sevenoaks this modern Japanese garden features a few big, bold elements to mirror the contemporary architecture of the new build property.  Features include a natural slate wall rising from the Koi pond, and a dramatic Standing stone grouping with granite lantern. Our planting palette uses mature specimen plants such as Acer’s and large diameter clipped Box to create a Japanese garden in keeping with the Architects vision for the contemporary house. The gardens visual simplicity masks the rich detail in design and construction that helps achieve the look.