8th May 2018
Creating the wonder…
The Tully estate was originally bought by Colonel William Hall Walker in 1900. By 1915, when he presented Tully to the state, he had established the stud farm and had also created the Japanese Garden which lies adjacent to the farm.
Colonel Hall Walker (a conservative politician and businessman with an interest in art), knew Japan well, and recognised that the swampy site at Tully, with natural springs, could be developed as a Japanese garden. In 1906 Hall Walker commissioned Tassa (Saburo) Eida, (whom records lead us to believe, was an art dealer), to design and oversee the construction of this garden. It took forty labourers four years to lay out the garden at a cost of £38,000. Hundreds of tons of rock were carted from the Silliot hills and large mature Scots Pines were transplanted from Dunmurray.
From 1915 to 1943, Tully was owned by the British National Stud and for part of this time a nursery was maintained in the stud grounds. This nursery was overseen by Mr. W.H. Paine who was in charge of the garden aswell. By the time the Irish National Stud Company took over the Tully estate, the Japanese garden was in quite a dilapidated state and it wasn’t until the appointment of a gardener from The National Botanic Gardens [Paddy Doyle] in 1946 that things began to improve. In 1973 John Colleran took over the supervision of the garden and created a Zen Garden known as the Garden of Eternity.
The original design portrayed the link between the human and spiritual elements of human existence. The Zen Garden became dilapidated over time and this year has been restored and re-designed by our expert horticulturist Yvonne O’Conor. Our new Garden of Meditation emphasizes the simplicity of Zen thinking and invites the viewer towards meditation through contemplation.
Zen is a way of life, a search for meaning that elevates simplicity to an art form. A Zen or dry landscape garden is created from the individual inspiration of the designer. Its purpose is to draw the viewer into a state of contemplation as a way towards meditation
Celebrating the wonder…
To celebrate the new addition the Garden of Meditation was officially opened by Her Excellency Mrs Mari Miyoshi the Japanese Ambassador. Prior to the opening ceremony, a talk on Japanese gardens by renowned landscape and garden designer Thomas Crummy was given. The evening was a huge success and celebrated Japanese culture and traditions. The guests were welcomed in sunshine by a performance of Taiko drumming. The guests were enthralled by the young performers and their talents. This was then followed by a jaw-dropping performance of Japanese Archery given by local performers Dragons Lair. Finally the guests were welcomed to view the Garden of Meditation and tour the magnificent Japanese Gardens.
Cathal Beale (CEO) said “We are delighted to welcome Her Excellency to officially open our new Garden of Meditation and to yet again celebrate the close ties between our two cultures.”
We welcome you to visit the Japanese Gardens and take a moment to view our new addition. As the proverb says, ‘You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day..unless you are too busy; then you should sit for an hour’.