Find out why this garden has been named ‘the most beautiful in Japan’ for 20+ years

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In Japan, gardening isn’t just a hobby – it’s an art form with spiritual significance.

But while gardens across the country get lots of love on social media, many Japanese will swear their fealty to one that’s off the beaten track – the garden at the Adachi Museum of Art in bucolic Shimane prefecture, a three-hour train trip from Osaka.

The US-based Sukiya Living magazine (formerly Journal of Japanese Gardening) has awarded the Adachi Museum its highest honor – most beautiful traditional garden – for more than 20 years running.

Despite accolades coming from outside of Japan, the museum and gardens remain relatively unknown compared to those in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Many Western visitors to Japan are confused when they visit a Japanese garden, only to not see a single flower. Japanese gardens place emphasis on different kinds of plants, like moss or trees, or may just consist of rocks in a finely manicured bed of sand. They’re not just about big, colorful blooms – there’s a more subtle dynamic at play.

“Gardens in Japan do aspire to high art in a way that they don’t in the West,” explains Sophie Walker, author of the book “The Japanese Garden.”

Mitate is the idea that the imagination can leap. You can see a rock, know that it’s a human-scale rock, but in that moment you can come to it and see it as a mountain. So I think that’s why the garden is so powerful, because it depends on the viewer. What you bring to it matters the

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Planting new seeds with community gardens

When I was growing up, my family was considered “granola” — hippie-adjacent, eco-conscious and nature loving. As a classic 2000s granola family, my siblings and I were homeschooled, we frequented farmers markets, grew up on PBS Kids and, of course, ate all organic. But my parents took “organic” to the next level: our yard became home to sprawling fruit trees, plots for tomatoes, unruly bushes of lavender and potted herbs. One of the childhood memories my family loves to tease me about is how I used to routinely crawl out to the garden and eat unripe green tomatoes straight off the vine.

In suburban and rural areas, growing your own food is as easy as planting and tending to seeds in your backyard. In dense cities, however, grocery stores are essentially the only source of fresh produce. In produce aisles, fruits and vegetables can be found neatly organized, packaged and ready for purchase, far from the soil and branches they came from. Because of this, many of us are distanced from where our food really comes from, both literally and figuratively. 

Additionally, in cities that are considered “food deserts” — urban areas with a shortage of affordable and high-quality food — many residents have to travel several miles to reach the nearest grocery store. In the Bay Area, at least 889 neighborhoods are considered “low food access,” with 600 of those neighborhoods found in the San Francisco metropolitan area. 

As a way of fighting against food insecurity, limited accessibility and rising grocery store prices, community gardening is becoming an increasingly popular alternative. In fact, the number of Americans growing food in community gardens rose by 200% between 2008 and 2016. There are, undeniably, so many benefits to starting a garden, environmentally and beyond. 

Environmentally, community and personal

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How to plant fruit trees in your garden, from apples to pears

Now that winter is here, bare-root trees can be planted. These are grown in fields in the soil and dug after leaf fall, before being sent, carefully wrapped to avoid the roots drying out, to gardeners. Not only are they cheaper, they are also usually better quality than pot-grown trees. Most garden centres sell only potted trees, with bare-rooted ones mostly coming from fruit nurseries.

Apples, pears and plums are deservedly the most popular garden fruits, with apples being especially productive. Many apple trees – Bramleys, for example – grow too large for most gardens, but their zeal can be curbed by buying them on rootstocks that stunt this growth. The rootstocks are “sticks” with roots to which nurseries graft a piece of the named apple – “Gala”, for example – called a scion. As the graft grows, it knits its wood with the rootstock wood. The rootstock topgrowth is then cut off, leaving the scion to grow and make a tree.

Historically, a rootstock called MM106 has been used, which is semi-vigorous, making large bushes to 4m or so – too large for most gardens, but with strong roots that need no staking. The “MM” stands for Malling and Merton after the research stations that selected these rootstocks. Later ones – M26, M9 and M27, small bush, very small bush and tiny trees, respectively – are from East Malling in Kent. M26 is probably the most useful, but M9 has its uses in very small gardens (if staked), while M27 is so weak that it needs to be mollycoddled for good results.

Popular supermarket apples are not the best-suited to garden growth, although “Gala” is worth considering in dry districts where scab disease is not too severe. The similar “Red Falstaff” and “Limelight” are better suited

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PLANTS project | National Trust for Scotland

Over the next three months, the PLANTS team will visit many other Trust gardens. These will include Culzean Castle, perched on the cliff top of the Ayrshire coast and boasting colourful walled gardens and exotic borders; Haddo House in the north-east of Scotland with its formal gardens and collection of specimen conifers designed by artist and landscape designer James Giles; and nearby Crathes Castle, where in the 1900s Sir James and Lady Sybil Burnett developed the now internationally renowned walled garden containing a remarkable series of eight garden rooms.

Telling stories

Each garden has a unique story and history. Throughout the PLANTS project we will celebrate our plant collections, as well as recognise the creators and custodians behind them.

Since the 1960s, students at the Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening at Threave Garden have created and maintained a ‘garden for all seasons’. The resulting unique garden has been divided into a series of smaller gardens to showcase different styles, including a rose garden, rockery and walled garden.

At Glasgow’s Holmwood, visitors can discover 5 acres of landscaped gardens and a small kitchen garden, planted with a range of Victorian herbs, fruit and vegetables.

A few miles down the road from Holmwood, Greenbank’s walled garden has been designed to showcase new ideas and techniques for domestic gardens and contains over 3,600 named plants as well as important collections of Narcissus and Bergenia.

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8 biggest mistakes stopping wildlife from thriving in your garden

Summer is the perfect time to get gardening, especially if the sun is shining, but are you doing the right things to encourage biodiversity in your outdoor space this season? King Charles is known for his eco-friendly, nature-encouraging gardens – and they are all the rage.

Housebuilding company Redrow have partnered with gardening expert Arthur Parkinson to uncover the biggest gardening mistakes that lots of people make, consequently repelling animals, and here’s how to avoid them at all costs…

People are seeing less and less wildlife at home

 1. Opting for astroturf

Gardens act like sponges vitally absorbing carbon, releasing oxygen and acting as air filters and even noise barriers but they can only do so if they are full of living plants. Astroturf suffocates soil by cutting off air, shutting off an entire ecosystem of insects and birds that would otherwise visit your garden. 

Astroturf is also unable to absorb water during rainfall making your garden and home less resistant to flash flooding and soil erosion. In hot weather, astroturf will also overheat and it has a lifespan of around ten years so not very eco-friendly when it has to go to landfill.  

2. Not planting the right plants

Research from Redrow shows that 26% of people haven’t seen a butterfly in their gardens in the last month. The buddleia (aka a butterfly bush) remains one of the gardening world’s best kept secrets and you can plant these in your garden to attract beautiful butterflies. They don’t have to be huge like the ones you see in the wild. Thanks to recent breeding, a range known as the ‘buddleia buzz’ is a dwarf relative that comes in an array of colours with honey-scented flowers. They make lovely choices for pots too.  

Opt for a buddleia plant to encourage
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Grand Forks Horticultural Society to host annual garden tour, plant sale – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – The Grand Forks Horticultural Society will host its 39th Annual Garden Tour and Plant Sale on Thursday and Saturday, July 20 and 22.

The event will feature nine gardens, including the North Dakota Museum of Art gardens that have been redesigned by Vincent Ames.

Tour hours are 4-8 p.m. Thursday, July 20, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, July 22. Pick up a map showing the garden locations at the Myra Museum at the Grand Forks Historical Society, 2405 Belmont Road.

All the gardens are in Grand Forks.

The plant sale will be conducted 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

A free will donation is requested for the tour and plants. Horticultural society t-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for sale.

As usual for this event, “plant doctors” — Carrie Knutson, NDSU Extension agent for Grand Forks County, and Cindy Filler, master gardener diagnostician — will be on hand to answer gardeners’ questions from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Myra Museum. Gardeners are welcome to bring plants or pictures of plants, trees or shrubs to get advice about conditions that concern them.

Knutson, the agricultural and natural resources agent in the horticulture area at NDSU Extension, said this year’s gardening season has been “okay,” she said. “We could use more moisture, considering it’s been 90 degrees back in May.”

During the “plant doctor” sessions, Knutson said, the kind of questions gardeners and homeowners ask varies “depending on the weather and what’s going on in the environment.”

She typically sees people who want identification of unusual conditions or insects on plants or trees.

This summer, Knutson is fielding questions on conditions such as iron chlorosis, which affects trees, especially maple and birch, and “insect injury,” she said. She’s responding to inquiries about galls, abnormal plant growths caused by insects,

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In a super dry summer, ways we can help save water

Pay attention to water restrictions, and cut usage inside the home too

If you’re already power smart, there’s a good chance you’re water smart too. Actions like taking shorter showers and running full loads of laundry and dishes save water and save on your energy bills.

But as drought and water restrictions hit most of B.C., what else can you do to use less water, and to use it wisely? Check our list of ideas below, and keep in mind that by mid-July, two-thirds of B.C.’s water basins were already ranked at drought level 4 or 5, the two highest levels on the scale.

“I am calling on everyone including businesses to follow water restrictions set by First Nations and local communities and to take steps to conserve water even above and beyond those restrictions,” said Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Minister Bowinn Ma at a July 13 briefing at the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Check your municipality’s website for updates on water restrictions, and pay attention to them. The City of Vancouver, for example, limits manual lawn watering at residences to Saturdays (even-numbered addresses) and Sundays (odd-numbered addresses), and only from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Let that lawn go brown, or rewild your yard

A brown lawn is not a dead lawn, so consider letting your lawn go. A 2005 NASA-led study found that in most U.S. regions, up to 75% of a home’s total water usage is for lawn irrigation.

If you want to learn which grasses fare better in drought in others, check out this Better Homes & Gardens story about brown lawns. And closer to home, see the before and after photos a B.C. resident posted in a 2022 letter to the editor in the Aldergrove Star about how quickly his

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Seattle gardening pros share their go-to plants with bold foliage

A SUMMER GARDEN in full bloom is remarkable, but even the most stunning floral display can collapse into confusion. Fine textures, both in petal and foliage, dazzle but easily tip into visual fatigue. Bold foliage provides a visual pause in the action that brings focus and calm to a busy composition.

I reached out to several local gardeners and landscape designers, stellar plantspeople one and all, and asked them to share three plants with bold foliage that are their go-to favorites. My crew:

Naomi Goodman is a practicing landscape designer (firecrackerdesignstudio.com) with a passion for creating beautiful and functional gardens that connect with nature.

Dan Hinkley is a world-renowned plantsman and former owner of Heronswood Nursery. Today Hinkley is director emeritus of present-day Heronswood Garden (heronswoodgarden.org) and, because he can’t seem to quit, operates Windcliff Plants, a small nursery on his property in Indianola.

● As owner and founder of Third Spring Landscape Design (thirdspring.com), Jason Jorgensen specializes in designing resilient gardens that will thrive in a changing climate.

Gillian Matthews, former owner of Ravenna Gardens, has been furnishing our gardens with extraordinary plants for years. “I love large foliage, especially in a small garden,” she writes.

● Landscape designer Susan Picquelle might have retired from client work, but she remains a knowledgeable and passionate gardener. Picquelle believes that bold plants should figure in the garden in every season.

Many of the following selections have appeared on more than one recommended list, always a sure sign of a good plant for Pacific Northwest gardens.

● Jorgensen recommends bumping up the boldness of Cotinus ‘Grace’ by coppicing (cutting back hard) the stems of this hybrid smoke tree in winter to produce larger than normal leaves. Showy red to burgundy

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Deakin home hits the market for the first time in 65 years

The house at 106 Strickland Crescent sits at the heart of Deakin, surrounded by lush gardens with plenty of outdoor play areas to spare.

It’s a home that most families would be delighted to live in – a fact that is as true now as it was when the house was last bought more than 60 years ago.

“My parents bought the house in 1958,” said the seller. “Strickland Crescent was the very last street in Canberra at the time.”

Auction – $1,468,000

106 Strickland Crescent, Deakin ACT 2600

View property

The home still shows its roots, with original woodworking adorning the interior, the original fireplace still heating up the living room, and the kitchen still sitting mostly untouched but exuding vintage charm.

“It’s a very Canberra style of house,” the seller said. “[There’s] a lot of nostalgia value.”

The sunny yellow kitchen retains its original character

However, the shining star of the property is its beautiful gardens. Every window of the home is treated to a leafy view, and the lounge room opens to an undercover patio.

It’s easy to imagine parents relaxing here with a cup of tea, fondly watching their children explore the vast green garden.

The patio overlooks the pretty gardens

“That was one of my favourite areas as a child,” the seller said. “You can imagine exploring the woods and you can play all these imaginative games because there is that space…it’s something that a lot of children don’t get an opportunity for these days.”

Generations have called this property home

The garden was unestablished when the seller’s family first bought the property, but they were able to choose which trees to plant and cultivate the natural space into the wonder it is today.

“I loved being there as a child. In my mind,

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