A hidden gem that brings a little bit of the Land of the Rising Sun to the Black Country has been praised by garden experts.

Type=image;ImageID=5484;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The thriving Japanese Garden at Danescourt Cemetery;TitleClass=strong;

The Royal Horticultural Society says the Japanese Garden at Danescourt Cemetery is thriving thanks to the support of members of the community who tend to it on a regular basis.

The RHS inspected the garden as part of its grassroots community gardening campaign, It's Your Neighbourhood, which aims to highlight the work people are doing to make lasting improvements to their local area.

The stunning garden was created at Danescourt when the cemetery was extended around 20 years ago, and has been hailed by members of the Japanese Garden Society as one of the "most outstanding" examples of its kind in the UK.

It is maintained by members of the West Midlands branch of the Japanese Garden Society, with support from Wolverhampton City Council.

In his report, RHS assessor Robin Russell said: "You can't help but enjoy this tranquil and contemplating garden which makes you feel at one with yourself.

"The garden is known worldwide for its well thought out design and regularly gets visitors from all over Europe."

He praised the participation of the community in maintaining the garden, and scored it 84 out of 100, giving it a rating of "Thriving" - just 2 points off the threshold for the highest accolade of Outstanding.

Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services, said: "I am delighted that the efforts of the Japanese Garden Society along with council staff to maintain and develop the Japanese Garden at Danescourt have been recognised by the RHS, and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work.

"The garden is very popular with visitors to Danescourt Cemetery, many of whom are unaware of its existence until their first visit. It is an ideal spot to sit quietly and reflect and therefore has an important role to play at the cemetery."

There are 2 contrasting sections to the garden, which is located behind the reception building of the Wergs Road cemetery. The first is themed on a Japanese Zen Garden - a miniature portrait of the landscape in an abstract form where stones and rocks represent islands and mountains, sand and gravel act as the water and shrubs and trees are forests and woods.

The other part of the garden is more luxuriant. It takes its inspiration from the traditional tea garden - idealised representations of nature based around the traditional Japanese tea drinking ceremony - with a dominance of trees and shrubs and lanterns lighting the way to the Tea House via a series of stepping stones.

  • released: Wednesday 15 October, 2014