Garden Showcase - Fanhams Hall Gardens
Built in the Jacobean style and accompanied by original Japanese gardens, Fanhams Hall is set in 27 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire gardens . Although not all Japanese styled, there is a great Eastern influence (especially in the planting) throughout the Garden. We will focus mainly on the Japanese Garden areas. These were laid out by Professor Suzuki in 1900. Mountains, waterfalls, bridges, lakes, trees, and stones, each has a great significance within the garden.
Entering the main gardens
Upon entering the main gardens, we find the first Japanese influence upon the gardens. A red bricked wall shows the original entrance to the main gardens with two circular holes on either side. These were cut much later, are called Moon Gates. They are set due north and follow the moons path east to west. It is rare nowadays to come across an old garden moon-gate in the country. Yet there was a time when they were quite the vogue, especially during the nineteenth century and earlier when a fondness of the ornate and the unusual found expression in all manner of ways in the English country garden scene.
The Formal Garden
The Lotus Flower Fountain dominates the garden And is a fine example of the oriental influence throughout the garden. The Lotus Flower or Water Lily, is of special significance to the Japanese Buddhist. There are some nice examples of traditional topiary in the garden.
The Japanese Garden
The garden is called Koraku-en (Joy After) and the circular path is a pilgrimage. It starts at the wooden framed Wisteria Walk . On the left the Indian Bean Trees (American Indian) represents the sun on the right, the Tall Pine Trees are the sky. Note the size of the pods from which the Bean Tree takes its name. These are not edible!
The Tree Peonies growing among the Wisteria are quite unusual, but are regaining popularity, they flower in late May/early June. To make Wisteria flower you have to prune it twice, once after flowering in June and then again in December, cut it back to three buds or two inches each time. The Maple Trees provide a fantastic glow of colour from brilliant gold to scarlet red.
The Lily Pond is shaped like a fox and is crossed by Shinkyo (Spirit Bridge).
The Japanese Tea House is genuine and purchased from Japan.
It is complete with a number of Granite lanterns, seen below.
This huge multi tiered pagoda is one of the many highlights at Fanham.
Trees and Mount Fuji - Yama
A particular feature of the garden is its unusual collection of trees, many have been labeled. The Dawn of the Redwood or Fossil Tree, was believed to be extinct until a plant was rediscovered in 1947 at a remote temple in China. Our tree is one of it's babies and was planted by the Japanese Ambassador in 1959. The memorial plaque is at the base of the tree, labeled (Metasequia glyptosabodies). The distorted tree close to the Redwood is a native Hazel, and is an excellent example of Japanese "Bonsai" work.
The large mound within the grounds, represents Mount Fuji and is called Fuji-Yama (Little Fuji). It is typical feature of this type of garden and makes an excellent view point.
Fanhams is not generally open to the public but does have 4-5 charity days when visitors are permitted to look around. However individuals may come and have look round on a an invited basis.
Because it its excellent location and wonderful setting, Fanhams Hall is very popular for weddings and receptions. For more information about using Fanhams Hall as the venue for your wedding or reception.
For more information on the garden, please visit
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