THE JAPANESE GARDEN
Reclaiming the lost Japanese Gardens and Bridges.
There are at least fifteen lost bridges that used to weave across the Kilmahew Burn with exotic planting believed to have been sourced via James Burns' links to the Cunard Shipping Company. The Kilmahew Education Trust will attempt to corroborate that legend whilst restoring this area to its outstanding beauty.
The Victorian Japanese Bridges
There are three burns meandering through the Kilmahew landscape and, in Victorian times these were crossed by at least fifteen bridges. We believe that at least eight of these were ornate iron constructions, the other seven being made of stone. Unfortunately these have fallen into disrepair and over time have been lost.
The Japanese Garden
During the late 1860's, James Burns the co- founder and share owner of the Cunard Shipping Line, began his specimen hunt and planting of the 'Pleasure Gardens' at Kilmahew. We believe that through his connections in shipping that he may have been introduced to Yamao Yozo, who was in Scotland to learn about technical training at the Napier ship yard on the outskirts of Glasgow. This is significant because the Japanese garden at Kilmahew, features specimen plants but is planted in a more informal European style and not similar to any Japanese garden.
Kilmahew is very fortunate to have Dan Pearson Studio as the landscape architects, as Dan is one of the foremost experts on Japanese gardens and his extensive work on the Tokachi Millennium Forest attest to his knowledge and skills.
We will look to rediscover this lost garden and try to understand how it came into being. The Kilmahew Education Trust will be replanting and renewing this area of the Estate and introducing sympathetic plants and structures to highlight the importance, we feel, this deserves.