A secret Japanese garden in Sheffield opens

Volunteers in Sheffield are continuing to transform a walled garden into a peaceful, flourishing oasis of colour.

The Victorian walled garden in Meersbrook Park was for many years used a council car park and dump but has now been lovingly restored in to a green space for members of the public. The latest addition is a sunken Japanese style garden, which has been designed by volunteer Naho Tanaka, over the last two years with the help of many other volunteers.

In July 2010 the Meersbrook Park Walled Garden was awarded the national Green Pennant for being one of the best kept green spaces in the country, as well as winning gold in the Sheffield in Bloom awards. Kaktus Leach one of the volunteers says, “The walled garden used to be a kitchen garden for the grand Meersbrook Hall for over 200 years and is now a council building. “It’s confined by a splendid red brick Victorian wall in the urban sprawl of Meersbrook. “It features a large lawn, many species of plants and flowers and a large glasshouse with gorgeous vines and plenty of South American flora.”

The experience of Japanese gardener Naho Tanaka was used to design and create this beautiful sunken garden. The once derelict area has now been transformed, using bamboo, willow trees, hosta and acer trees. “There’s also a stunning water bowl feature with seating and two peace posts with prayers inscribed in Japanese, which people believe helps to solve the problems of war.” said Kaktus Leach. The garden has been designed and created by volunteer, Naho Tanaka

The walled garden was taken over in 1999 and since then has been open to the public at weekends and special events.

The Meersbrook Park Users Trust is looking for volunteers who are prepared to help maintain and keep the garden open. New volunteer Jill Graham, who lives in Meersbrook, is an unemployed support worker. She saw the advert for volunteers at the garden whilst walking her dog through the park. She said: “I got involved because I love gardening. It’s a beautiful garden and a lot of people don’t even know it exists”.

The Meersbrook Park community walled garden is on Brook Road at Meersbrook and you can find out more about events or volunteer to help out by calling 0114 2810423.

There is a special Peace Picnic in the Meersbrook Park community walled garden on Sunday 8th August from 2.00pm until 5.00pm, with music and poetry dedicated to all the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Meersbrook Park Users Trust website – http://meersbrookpark.org.uk/

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