About the garden
This is a stunning historic Japanese garden created by renowned explorer Ella Christie. In 1908 she visited Japan where she was inspired to establish her own Japanese garden. She appointed Taki Handa, who had studied English, Horticulture and Botany at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto to create Sha Raku En, ‘the garden of pleasure and delight’.
Cowden remains the only Japanese garden of its size to be accredited to a female Japanese landscape architect. Sara Stewart inherited the garden in the 2000s and in 2014 appointed Professor Fukuhara, winner of a Gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to spearhead a restoration.
Cowden Garden includes a stroll garden, antique lanterns, bridges and a new addition, the Garden Pavilion. In 2021 the Stewart Adventure Woodland opened. It includes a large tree house, boardwalk, woodland activities for children and a network of woodland paths.