Seeking a Zen Garden

Near Newquay airport, in the tiny picturesque village of St Mawgan, is a lovely Japanese garden and former nursery.  It was built as a meditative garden and is a place of tranquillity and gentle wonder where you can relax and enjoy the peace.


Pathways wander through the shade and dappled sunlight and colourful maples catch the eye.

Bamboos whisper in the breeze and blue damselflies hover over the pond full of golden Koi.

P1240119Various areas have been created where you can sit and listen to the birdsong. And at the far end of the garden lies the Zen Garden which is a small enclosed space with carefully composed arrangements of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes, and uses gravel or sand that is raked to represent ripples in water. It is meant to be viewed whilst seated outside the garden and here there are several small stools either side of a Buddha statue.


Pops of colour from several flowers and shrubs brighten up the shady spots along with moss-covered sculptures and carved stone benches.



The overwhelming feeling of the garden is one of peace and quiet harmony, dappled shade, shadows, cool greens and calming water features. This is a very different Cornish garden and one to visit in all seasons. Open from March to November every day of the week.



37 Comments Add yours

  1. findingnyc says:

    I find the different shades of green so interesting, and really so soothing as well. It’s beautiful. Food for the soul.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The greens definitely work well, difficult to photograph in the shade though.

  2. What a delightful garden, Jude. Your photos make me want to go there right away 🙂

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    It looks perfect, tranquil without being too stark.

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are a lot of lovely maple trees so I need to return in the autumn.

  4. You’ve recreated zen on a morning when I need a bit! A conversation about superannuation with Australia??? I’d rather not. Just winding through your photos is enough to unwind my tension. Your writing is calming too. Thank you.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Meg, so glad you enjoyed this. I usually have a few posts in draft waiting to be finished, but at the moment I am struggling to keep up with the blog(s). Tax forms to complete! Still stuff in boxes to unpack (and find somewhere to put them) and Wimbledon!!! I think I need to create a zen garden myself.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Truly beautiful! I have to visit this one, Jude. When Mick started out to design our garden he was going with a Zen theme but it got lost along the way. The deer scarer never worked properly and was taken out. We were left with odds and sods, and then when the new fences were put in it was total disruption. We’re still in recovery. 🙂 Fabulous post- I love it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Do you have a large garden Jo? I don’t think you post many photos from it – or maybe you do and I just haven’t realised! Deer scarer? you get deer in your garden?

      1. restlessjo says:

        It’s probably about the same size as yours, Jude. I have used the odd flower or two in posts- mostly rhodies because we have half a dozen. No deer, sadly- we just liked the look of the bamboo water feature. We have a tulip shaped modern one now but it lives in the conservatory till Mick finishes sorting the rest.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’d love a water feature, but will have to make do with the natural bird bath! You have some lovely plants in your garden.

        2. restlessjo says:

          A lot of overgrown stuff too, that you didn’t see 🙂

    2. Heyjude says:

      Ha! Now I see you HAVE posted about your garden. Sorry – watching Heather Watson doing battle so not concentrating. I will pop over to see your lovely patch now 😀

      1. restlessjo says:

        Missed the tennis today because we were at 2 RHS gardens. TWO! Making hay while the sun shines. Well, it did for half the day 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I MUST get to a garden – been a while (well a couple of weeks) but the weather hasn’t been particularly good. Very, very windy yesterday – had to rescue several pots!

  6. Living in a house full of boys, I’d love a Zen anything. Certainly something on this scale would help a bit.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I feel your pain. I have three boys, and a tomboy daughter! Maybe you can create a zen garden in your back yard?

      1. That’s not a bad idea. I know just the spot. One thing, though. Is a trampoline Zen?

        1. Heyjude says:

          perhaps if you bury it in the ground and surround it with rocks? Oh, no, that might not be a good idea… we don’t want any more accidents.

  7. pommepal says:

    This is a garden I could spend hours in Jude. Your photos and descriptions ooze tranquillity. Is it close to where you now live?

    1. Heyjude says:

      About an hour’s drive away PP. I shall definitely be back in the autumn and next spring. Also heard that the local pub has the most amazing magnolia. Plus they have some adorable wind chimes that I fancy 🙂

      1. pommepal says:

        That’s not too far. Every thing is about that far, plus more, from here

        1. Heyjude says:

          No it’s not far, it just takes a while as there is only one main road in Cornwall! But I am in no hurry so don’t mind the slow travel 🙂

        2. pommepal says:

          I guess the traffic can be a problem

  8. Pit says:

    Thanks for taking me there. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      You are very welcome Pit 🙂

  9. beetleypete says:

    What a lovely peaceful place. I really like the maple trees.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  10. Sue Slaght says:

    Jude it sounds like Heather needs to go for a visit to your magical spot. It must be incredible to be there. I feel more peaceful for having seen your images. Ahhhh.

    1. Heyjude says:

      peace all around the world Sue – we certainly need some right now.

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        That is for certain!

  11. Beautywhizz says:

    Your photos show this garden beautifully.

  12. Chillbrook says:

    I’ve visited many times Jude. It’s beautiful and your pictures are lovely! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Any other gems you know about?

  13. purecornwall says:

    What a beautiful garden! A definite must-see for our guests!

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