Through Your Eyes

A garden for contemplation and reflection designed by Lawrence Roberts and featuring a corten steel immersive sculpture by William Roobrouck (pictured below)

A garden is a special spiritual place where the mind dwells
— Shunmyo Masuno

‘Our lives can be fast paced and frenetic, the world a confusing and bewildering place. Spirituality is often traded for consumption and our minds are constantly distracted with irrelevant noise and media. Gardens can offer a reprieve from this; a piece of restored nature in our urban environment; an intrinsic place of reflection to tune out the world and reconnect with ourselves’ - Lawrence Roberts, Elements Garden Design

This summer at the Hampton Court Garden Festival I will be exhibiting a show garden in collaboration with Belgian sculptor William Roobrock. We will be encouraging visitors to take a moment to reflect and reconnect.

The garden has partly been inspired by the works of reverred Japanese landscape architect and eighth generation Zen Buddhist priest, Shunmyo Masuno - a master of Zen gardens.

Although a true Zen garden is something only accomplished by a disciplined practitioner of Zen Buddhism, I aim to create a garden that incorporates key Zen principles including simplicity, symbolism and naturalness. In the words of Masuno; 'to create a place where people can leave behind the abundance of everyday life and instead encounter their 'kokoro no yutakasa' - the richness of their spirit’.

Our garden will be overlooked by a large sculptural head made of layered corten steel that can be entered, allowing visitors a moment alone to contemplate the garden and its message. 

The garden is about life, the paths that we take and the obstacles we overcome. Everything in the garden from the boulders to the trees has been selected to symbolise aspects of our lives; friendships, age, challenges, family and loss. I hope it will allow visitors a moment of mindfullness to reflect on how to live their lives well and the things that really matter. 

Masuno states that 'Zen is ultimately a way of discovering how one should best live. By viewing a garden viewers question themselves if they are walking the correct path. The act of gazing fixedly is the act of creating opportunity to think - that is, to wonder introspectively. One's own way of living, current lifestyle, one's existence, and so on - one after the other a variety of questions well up in one's heart.'