We are pleased to offer this talk as part of our online Public Programme. Available as film only, or with delivery of Dan's book, Tokachi Millennium Forest.
In our first public event since re-opening the Museum, we were privileged to host the launch of landscape designer Dan Pearson’s new book on Tokachi Millennium Forest, which included a Q&A with BBC Gardener’s World presenter Arit Anderson.
Tokachi Millennium Forest tells the story of a Japanese forest garden twenty years in the making, and explores a new way of gardening with nature. Thirty years ago, in an extraordinarily progressive move, Japanese media entrepreneur Mitsushige Hayashi bought 400 hectares of land in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, with the aim of off-setting the carbon footprint of his national newspaper business.
Ten years of forest management and planning later, landscape designer Dan Pearson came on board to design an ecological public park on the site. Hayashi named it the Millennium Forest, a garden for a thousand years.
The park aims to entice city dwellers to reconnect with nature, to improve a piece of land that had been lost to intensive agriculture, and through a perennially planted Meadow Garden, increase floral diversity and encourage wildlife within the forest.
Join Dan (who also designed the Garden Museum’s Sackler Courtyard Garden) at this pre-filmed online launch talk to find out more about his involvement in this ambitious project, and what we can learn from the Japanese respect and reverence for nature, landscape, and working with the seasons. Dan will be joined in conversation by BBC Gardener’s World presenter and garden designer Arit Anderson.
Tokachi Millennium Forest was written with invaluable contributions by Midori Shintani, Head Gardener at Tokachi Millennium Forest, with photographs by Kiichi Noro and Syogo Oizumi, and has an introduction written by Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter.
Dan Pearson trained at the RHS Gardens, Wisley and at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Two years spent working at the botanic gardens of Jerusalem and Edinburgh gave him an innate understanding of plant ecology which along with an appreciation for natural landscapes inspires his garden design today. His international work for public and private clients is widely celebrated and he has received numerous accolades including Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Designer for Industry in 2012, and Society of Garden Designers awards. He has designed five award-winning Chelsea Flower Show gardens including Best in Show in 2015, writes a weekly gardening journal DIGDELVE and lectures widely.
Arit Anderson is a garden designer, writer and presenter on BBC Two's Gardeners' World.
She spent 25 years working in the dynamic industries of retail fashion and creative events. She managed teams that delivered collections and events across the globe. She balanced this fast-paced career with interests in well-being, working as a therapist and teaching holistic therapies, which led her to travel extensively to the USA.
It was the joy of having her own garden that enabled Arit to diversify her creative experiences. She found that the visual nature of fashion and the healing properties of her therapies could beautifully meld in the garden.
Playing with a new palette of colour and materials in her garden, drove her to explore the unique relationships between her love of plants, people and place. After just one season, Arit knew she wanted horticulture to become her work as well as her pleasure.
She studied gardening at Capel Manor College and whilst there had success at RHS Chelsea 2013 winning the Fresh Talent category for a student design collaboration with two other students. After attaining a diploma in garden design, she won a Gold Medal for her own design at RHS Hampton Court in 2016 in the conceptual category.
In her designs for both private and commercial clients her ethos includes simplicity and environmental sensitivity – affecting her choice of products and plants at source, with regard to their future setting.
Working as presenter for Gardeners World, and writing for national publications has enabled Arit to publicise issues about the future of gardening in an ever-changing climate, and promote solutions to the wider public.