2019 NO.26

Welcome to Japanese Gardens


Creators of Japanese Gardens

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Experts who take care of Japanese gardens.
What kind of mindset drives them to create gardens?

Text: Kamieshu Noriko, Photo: Kanai Gen

Pleasure working with all my colleagues
to create gardens I love

Handa Sanae, Gardener, UEYAKATO LANDSCAPE Co., LTD.

Handa Sanae has been working in this company for four years. On her junior high school trip, she was moved by the beauty of Japanese gardens in Kyoto because they expressed the goodness of nature. “I had wanted to become a gardener for a long time. So, I was overjoyed when I got the chance to start my career with this company by pulling weeds inside the roped-off area of the garden,” she says.

Handa maintains that just being in the garden makes her happy. She thoroughly enjoys her job. For a few years after joining the company, she was involved in wildflower research while learning the gardening work. Utilizing knowledge gained during that period, she also created wildflower compilations for garden visitors. “I can concentrate on pulling weeds all day while paying attention to every corner of the garden and think how many wildflowers should be left. I can utilize my feminine sensitivity and advantages as a woman,” she states. Currently, she is also involved in management of ground cover plants at Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto. Nanzenji, listed as one of Japan’s important cultural properties, is a famous temple with a garden designated as a “place of scenic beauty.”

“Once a month, the company President and my superiors come over and give me various kinds of advice.” It is impressive that gardeners cooperate with each other to maintain gardens. Handa feels very rewarded and motivated to work in Japanese gardens that have been created in concert with all of her colleagues.

Handa checks the condition of flowering plants in a garden and tends to them.

From left bottom: Saw for weeding, pruning shears, hedge clippers, and pruning saw. Gardeners purchase their own tools to suit their specific tasks.

One of the gardeners’ roles is to respond to visitors who talk to them on the job. Gardeners play an important part in presentation of their creations.