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From time to time we will run workshops and courses, with various partners, like Masa Sato in October, to share skills and things we like to do here on our lifestyle block.


The Art of Japanese Tree Pruning 

Masa Sato has trained in Japan. Here is your chance to learn about some of his skills to transform trees and shrubs in your garden to create drama and add beautiful classical elements to your garden design.

After discovering Masa, he has helped regain the beauty of my cloud pruned totara, he has helped with bonsai and new trees in a courtyard and taught me repotting techniques for large specimen plants. The pièce de résistance, though, are the 12 large English beech has trained to cloud shapes, with the sweeping shaped Buxus, Corokia and other drifts of plants snaking beneath. Without his mastery my vision could not have been realised.

He has also reclaimed the bulb garden where lime trees had grown and created too much shade. After an initially butchering these myself with a cherry picker, they certainly looked awful and were destined for the chop. He has gradually brought them into some degree of elegance, no mean fete, when you look at the quality of the original specimens.  See for yourself and realise what is possible within your own garden, whatever the size.

In Japan, trees pervade the physical landscape and have long held a lofty position in the country’s spiritual and sociocultural domain. Fittingly, Japanese gardeners have fine-tuned a distinctive set of pruning techniques meant to coax out the essential characters of their garden trees, or niwaki (庭木). The approach is calculated and dramatic; niwaki are sculpted to achieve certain effects, from the appearance of maturity to an asymmetrical or even lightning-struck look.

We are pleased to welcome Masa and guests to our garden and nursery to learn some fundamental skills.

Southern Woods will have a pop up shop for pruning equipment. Masa will show you how to look after it. 

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