Members of the Japanese Gardening Society and the Friends of Hammersmith Park teamed up with Quadron Services for a day of ‘shizenfu’ pruning in the Japanese Garden in Hammersmith and Fulham’s Hammersmith Park on 12th November.
‘Shizenfu’ is a traditional Japanese pruning philosophy, referring to a naturalistic style. The working party was joined by Ian Fleming (Quadron Head Gardener, Holland Park) and his colleagues Marc and Daijiro, Quadron’s resident experts from nearby Holland Park’s Kyoto Gardens, to lead the sessions and provide training to all those in attendance.
Following introductions and health and safety briefings, the group split into three teams, each tackling one of the park’s large prostrate conifers.
The teams began by focussing on plant health by removing any detritus trapped in and around the foliage. Next came the process of removing any dead wood. Armed with pruning saws, loppers and secateurs, the eager group soon made visible progress, with the structure of the trees becoming ever more apparent.
Following the lead from Marc and Daijiro, work then progressed to pruning to obtain the desired shape. This involved following the natural shapes of the main tree structure, as well as continuing to focus on tree health by pruning out any further dead wood and crossing limbs.
As the afternoon light began to fade, the volunteers’ efforts were clear to see in radical transformation of the conifers.
Andrew Robinson, Quadron’s Horticultural Development Manager commented: “The transformation that took place throughout the course of the day was remarkable. Marc and Daijiro’s enthusiasm was infectious and all the volunteers clearly enjoyed a rewarding day. It’s always a pleasure to work with volunteers from the Japanese Garden Society and the Friends of Hammersmith Park and we look forward to many more enjoyable days in the future.”
John Gordon-Smith, Chair of the Friends of Hammersmith Park said: “It was great to see volunteers from the Japanese Garden Society taking such an interest in our Japanese Garden and contributing their time to great effect in the pruning – a really enjoyable and productive day.”
Graham Bowyer from the Japanese Garden Society added: “The Japanese Garden Society volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was an excellent opportunity to work with your experts, to learn from them and to contribute to much needed pruning work in the park. We would be delighted to discuss arranging a similar working session in the future.”