Principles and practicalities of Japanese Garden design

A one day Masterclass with garden creator and author Robert Ketchell

Do you love Japanese gardens?

Would you like to learn how to create one for yourself?

Download details as pdf file


This one day Masterclass will introduce you to the fundamental principles of Japanese garden design and explore the qualities that sets these gardens apart and give you the opportunity to create one for yourself.

You will learn:

  • The fundamental importance of rock arrangement in Japanese garden design
  • How to draw inspiration from Chinese landscape painting when An appreciation of seeing gardens as a work of art

In the afternoon we will put these ideas into practice when you will create your very own trayscape, which you can take home with you.


at Herons Bonsai Nursery, Surrey
Saturday 27th September 2014
10.00 am – 5 pm

Robert Ketchell Is a world authority on Japanese garden design. His gardens include Raymond Blanc’s tea garden at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison and the ‘Oxherder garden’ at Osmosis Spa in California, which is ranked among the top 20 Japanese gardens in the USA

Ever since his first visit to Japan in 1980, where he studied garden design for four years with a master gardener, he has dedicated his life to understanding the principles of Japanese garden design and how these can be adapted to gardens outside of Japan. He remains one of a handful of non-Japanese people to have apprenticed in Japan. Robert is author of Japanese Gardens in a Weekend (Hamlyn), and leads specialist tours to Kyoto. He is a co-founder, former chair and current trustee of the Japanese Garden Society.

The renowned bonsai expert and owner of Herons Bonsai, Peter Chan (winner of 21 gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show) will also be contributing to the course. Peter will be discussing and demonstrating aspects of the development, shaping and pruning of trees for a Japanese garden setting.

Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn direct from two of Britain’s leading masters in their art.


The workshop is being held at Herons Bonsai nursery, the premier bonsai nursery in the UK, which has an amazing collection of bonsai, garden trees and pots.

Lunch and refreshments provided.

Cost of course, (inclusive of lunch and trayscape materials £140. The group size will be small to ensure participants have plenty of attention so prompt booking is advised.

For further information and bookings please email:

Workshop location: Herons Bonsai Limited,
Wiremill Lane,
Nr. Lingfield,
Surrey, RH7 6HJ