Summer Garden Party
Garden Open – Summer Garden Party, Wagyu BBQ, live music, Pottery exhibition
Friday 14th July 2023
Open Garden for Irises, Japanese Garden lecture and Ramen lunch
Saturday 20th May 2023
10:00 – 16:00
Sake & Cherry Blossom in the Japanese Garden
on Sunday 2nd April 2023
Garden Open for Snowdrops and Ramen noodle lunch
on Sunday 19th February
from 10:00 – 16:00
Open Garden for snowdrops and aconites.
(pre-booked admission only)
You will be able to explore the area on the estate normally not open to the public on this day, to see the carpet of snowdrops and aconites under a huge copper beech tree behind the Georgian house, known to us as power sport, under the lime trees in the Japanese garden, and a long walk to the dovecote field.
Both Restaurant and cafe will be open for lunch and tea&cakes.
Lunch on this day is hot Ramen Noodles! You will appreciate it after a long walk in the cold weather.
It is a proper Japanese Ramen noodle with pork or we have vegan option, too. In addition you may like some sushi rolls or meat pies!
Craft stalls and art exhibition
We are opening the Gardens to the public for Autumn Colours
on Sunday 6th November
(The last Open Garden for 2022)
The gardens will be open from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Entry ticket is £10 per person as before.
There will be a lecture by our Japanese Garden designer, Robert Ketchell from 11:00 – 12:30.
The lecture will be in the Brewery visitor centre, followed by tour of the garden with Robert.
Maximum of 30 people. Booking recommended. £8 per person
Various hot Bento lunch boxes will be cooked by our usual London chefs, Mr Saito and Megumi.
We recommend that you reserve in advance to avoid disappointment.
Katsu Curry, Wagyu Don, Teriyaki Chicken Don all at £15 each
Tea, coffee, cold drinks, cakes will be available in the event hall cafe.
Also in the Brewery restaurant, we will be serving English afternoon tea and Matcha tea & cake or Rolls cake & sake from 12:30 for those who prefer to sit in comfort and enjoy the afternoon elegantly. Reservation is essential.
English afternoon tea at £25, Match tea and roll cake or Sake & cake £15
There will be Some Japanese craft stalls in front of the shrine in the Japanese Garden or maybe under cover depending on weather.
We are opening the gardens to the public on Sunday 17th July between 11am-5pm (Gates open to the Keen gardeners at 10am)
We have been very busy with private parties and the members visiting from Japan during the month of June when the borders are at their best.
To show and share the summer gardens with the local people we decided last minute, to open the gardens to the public during the slot we have found in July before the summer ends. It has been so dry recently and the gardens are not quite as good as they should be, but we have been watering for the day.
On 17th July, there will be a jazz band playing in the kitchen garden, lots of Japanese picnic food cooked by a London chef, tea and cakes, matcha tea in the Japanese Garden + English garden games.
Lunch will be served in picnic boxes, so that you can take them out into the garden and eat in picnic style while you enjoy the music.
We will be limiting the numbers of entry, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
↑ from our first Open Garden and event 2022 ⇨ Snowdrops, aconites and Woodblock prints Exhibition >>
We are opening the gardens to the public for Cherry Blossom and Daffodils on Sunday 3rd April 2022. The Event Hall Cafe will be open for hot Japanese lunch plus tea and cakes on the day.
About the Opening
Our Gardens are not open to the public except for handful of selected seasonal garden open days.
The dates be announced well in advance on our website.
However, the Gardens are open to the annual garden members and Sake members throughout the year from Tuesday to Saturday and some Sundays when we have our own events on.
(See below for the details of Annual Garden Membership)
Fordham Abbey Garden Annual Membership
Annual Garden Membership includes access to the Japanese garden and the kitchen garden from Tuesday to Saturday throughout the year.
The gardens are open from 10am – 4pm with the last entry on 3:30pm.
They are closed: Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years day and also closed when used for private events, such as weddings receptions.
The Pottery Workshop is located within the Japanese Garden.
You could come and see the famous Japanese Potters working when they are here in the summer.
A Shrine situated in the Japanese garden, dedicated the Sake God is now ready.
Our gardens are for the members to enjoy being in the space, sometimes just to sit and relax, meditate, listen to the water, trees and birds or observe the seasons change and be refreshed and inspired.
We have Wifi connection throughout the gardens, and there are tables and chairs in the garden, so you could bring your laptop, if you wish.
Annual Garden Membership fee
Payable in advance.
(Adults over 18)
(Two adults living at the same address)
Family (2 adults + 2 children) £220
Two adults (aged 18+) living at the same address and two children or grandchildren (17 or under).
Under 5 come free.
Family (1 adult + 2 children) £180
One adult (aged 18+) and two children or grandchildren(17 or under). Under 5 free.
General Public for special group booking in the week and on open days
(Adults over 18)
(Aged 6 – 17)
Children 5 and under enter free when accompanied by an adult
Enquiries about group bookings
Rules & Regulations
- No dogs allowed inside the gardens. Dogs maybe kept on lead in other publicly accessible areas of the site and there may be limited dog parking spots available. Visitors are responsible for their dogs at all times and must ensure that they clean up after their pets.
- No smoking allowed in the gardens including vaping an e-cigarettes.
- Please refrain from playing music out loud on mobile phones, smart speakers and other portable devices. Please be considerate to others when listening to music on headphones.
- Please refrain from speaking loudly on mobile phones and keep conversations to a minimum.
- Do not litter in the gardens or in any part of the estate, bins are provided.
- Please keep to the designated footpaths, grass areas and walkways.
- Do not walk on any plant or flower beds, rock areas or areas where fruit and vegetables are growing.
- Do not climb trees, fences and walls.
- Do not pick flowers, fruit or any other plants without permission from a member of staff.
- Annual membership fees are non-refundable except in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the management.
- Any anti-social behaviour towards fellow members or staff will result in your membership being revoked without refund and offenders will be asked to leave the premises immediately.
About the Gardens
A journey through the Garden
The Japanese garden has a living tradition stretching back over a millennium in Japan, and today that voice has reached across the world. It follows therefore that the UK’s first sake brewery should have a fine ‘Japan inspired’ garden.
Supported by the Hashimoto family and the Dojima Brewery, the garden was gradually created evoking the very best qualities. The Japanese garden can have a transforming and enhancing effect on the wellbeing of the viewer. Japanese gardens are even used as the location for wellbeing therapies. Its tradition is premised on the idea that the garden should reflect nature, yet not copy it. Nature and the landscape are understood to retain a sacred quality which translates to a garden space.
The Dojima garden follows one of the principal styles of the Japanese garden, the ‘Stroll garden’ (kaiyushiki teien). Wherein the visitor is invited to walk around the garden, absorbing the varied garden scenery as an active participant. The garden unfolds as the viewer moves through the space. Banks of planting are used determining the path. In turn it hides and reveals aspects of the garden. Water is a significant feature of stroll gardens and a sinuous shaped pond lies at its heart.
Such gardens are experienced through all the senses. Sounds transform them in the different locations and are woven into the experience. The two waterfalls offer different cadences of sound. The bridge over the water is not a traditional Japanese design but does translate a tradition from one culture to another. It’s simplicity and directness reflects the connection between the two cultures, as does the sake brewed at Dojima.
The journey’s destination is the Shinto shrine (currently under construction), so the garden can also be understood as a preparation for those approaching it, moving from the secular to the sacred world. Sake making in Japan has ancient roots in the sacred use of rice and water. The fluid motion of water is an important expression in the garden. Landscape in Japanese is ‘sansui’, meaning mountains and water. The rocks that define the architecture of the pond garden are principally waterworn limestone shaped by the action of water over time. Movement and stillness in the same moment.
This garden reflects the connection that the Dojima Brewery extends, linking cultures on shared common ground. With maturity and developing form the quality of being close to nature will become apparent in the garden’s textures. It encourages the viewer to reflect and absorb what is immediately around them and what is their immediate experience in that moment. These are the core qualities that are the very fabric of the Dojima garden. This engagement is most intense when viewer and garden become as one. It is the nature of the kaiyushiki teien to embrace the viewer, and to provide a shifting fabric of experience. Subtle lighting in the garden creates yet another visual experience.
The Dojima garden creates the spirit and essence of the Japanese tradition in a form that works in its location and context. It is a welcoming place that celebrates nature in its foliage and the shifting patterns of ripples across the surface of the water accompanied by changing light conditions highlighting different parts of the garden throughout the day.
Robert Ketchell, the garden designer
Walled Kitchen Garden