In the Grange we have to contend with badgers, squirrels and pigeons. In Southern Japan it’s wild boars, racoons and giant crows. For the start, my first taste of gardening happened 15 years ago at Yewbarrow House and, bizarrely, I found myself at Huis Ten Bosch, near Nagasaki, in 2010 representing England in the first Gardening World Cup. I fell in love with this southern part of Japan then, and resolved, if the opportunity arose, to build a garden there. Later, in 2016 we found our first perfect piece of land in Itoshima, and that was soon followed by our second amazing space in Nagasaki, and that was the beginning of our Slow Life project. Today, with the help of volunteers from around the world through the Workaway scheme, we aim to transform these areas into amazing spaces for all to enjoy.
The idea of Slow Life is to take the principles of Slow Food, which are “good, clean and fair”, and extend them to life in general. Thus, our projects are a celebration of the Slow Life, with forays into the world of design, music, art, gardening, and my particular weakness, Japan.