Gardening enthusiasts in Britain, and all over the world are all familiar with the perennial popularity of the Japanese garden that has been fashionable in Europe for many years. The Zen-like calm of minimal raked gravel, flashes of intense colour from crimson maples contrasting with muted bamboo backgrounds maintain their appeal for us. Indeed there is nothing miniature about the delight that bonsais engender with our nation.


But did you know there's a little known twist in this tale? For the last six or seven years Kent based company Jacksons; manufacturers of fine fencing, gates and garden products, have been supplying a steady flow of their very English products to Japanese gardeners.


"As a company we have exported both our metal and timber products all over the world," explained Richard Jackson, CEO of Jacksons. "However we were surprised when a Japanese garden design company originally approached us in 2000. They had become aware of the high quality and classic "Englishness" of our products when visiting garden shows in England, and had a rush of interest from clients back in Japan who had seen our brochures and sample products shown in Japan on their return."


It would seem the craze for an English garden was no flash in the pan, as Jacksons continues to supply a steady number of Japanese clients. Such is the popularity of their beautifully made, traditional trellis, garden fencing, gates, obelisks etc. More unusual requests by one designer were for a specially "aged" garden gate complete with aged rope and a swing to hang in an apple tree, for that "Olde Englishe" look.


Some devotees have even been known to make a special trip to Jacksons Head Office in Kent to visit the impressive display area to check out what's new in the garden. Three gentlemen, who visited this week, were given a tour by Richard Jackson, which shows the manufacturing process from start to finish, including the unique Jakcure® timber treatment process and the stringent quality checks throughout, which all goes towards maintaining the standards that allow Jacksons to offer a 25 year Jakcure guarantee on their timber products.


The visitors are shown here with Richard Jackson near the latest addition to the display, the new Summerhouse that featured in Marianne Ali's medal winning show garden at Hampton Court show last year.