Author(s): Dan Pearson; Midori Shintani
Twenty years ago, Dan Pearson was invited to make a garden at the 240- hectare Tokachi Millennium Forest in Hokkaido, Japan. Part of the intention was to entice city dwellers to reconnect with nature and improve land that had been lost to intensive agriculture, and this was achieved along with much more. By tuning into the physical and cultural essence of the place and applying a light touch in terms of cultivation, this world class designer has created a remarkable place which has its heart in Japan's long-held respect for nature and its head in contemporary ecological planting design. The bold, uplifting sweep of the Meadow Garden mixes garden plants with natives while the undulating landforms of the Earth Garden bring sculptural connection with the mountains beyond. Under the skillful custodianship of Midori Shintani, the garden has evolved beautifully to reflect principles that lie at the heart of Japanese culture: observation of seasonal changes, practical tasks carried out with care and an awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things. This beautiful, instructive book allows us all to experience something of the Tokachi effect, gain expert insights into how to plant gardens that feel right for their location, and reconnect with the land and wildlife that surround us.