Internationally celebrated British landscape designer and gardening writer, Dan Pearson explores a pioneering new strand of naturalistic gardening. His new book, Tokachi Millennium Forest is a window into the unique and groundbreaking approach to gardening at this public park in Japan and the rejuvenating ways we can reconnect with the land, plants and wildlife around us. Contributions from Head Gardener, Midori Shintani, give an insight into the day to day responsibilities of her garden team, her working relationship with Dan and the particular Japanese relationship to nature and the forest.
Thirty years ago, Japanese media entrepreneur, Mitsushige Hayashi, bought 400 hectares of land in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, with the aim of off-setting the carbon footprint of his national newspaper business. Ten years later, after an intensive period of forest management, he invited Dan Pearson to help design an ecological public park, the purpose of which was to entice town and city dwellers to reconnect with nature and to preserve a piece of land that had been lost to intensive forestry. As a means of capturing the imagination it was named The Millennium Forest: A Garden for a Thousand Years.
During this evening’s illustrated talk, Dan will discuss the regimes used to increase floral diversity and encourage wildlife within the forest, the making of a huge sculptural landform to excite visitors, and the overall educational aims of the project. At the heart of the book is a close consideration of the Meadow Garden and the perennial plant mixes he designed for it.
A unique project, twenty years in the making, which engages with the real Japanese landscape in all its wildness.