April 23, 2021

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Crouching tiger, hidden garden! Buddhist monk’s secret paradise bursts into life


Buddhist monk’s secret Japanese garden tucked away behind British A-road bursts into life with stunning pink and white blossoms

  • Buddha Maitreya has spent 35 years transforming his two-acre plot in Nottinghamshire into Japanese garden
  • Maitreya paid £13,000 for the old farmhouse on a weed-infested plot after travelling and studying meditation
  • His stunning garden is a couple of hundred yards from the A1133 between Newark and Gainsborough
  • The 79-year-old’s plot is filled with plants and trees such as maple, moss and bamboo from his homeland 

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A secret monk’s garden – hidden behind an a-road – is now in full bloom.

The extraordinary garden took 45 years to create, and is a hidden haven near the A1133 in Nottinghamshire, which has now become an unofficial tourist attraction, bringing in 10K visitors per year.

But as the trees are set to blossom, former monk Koji Takeuchi, who refers to himself as Buddha Maitreya, is showcasing his secret paradise through a series of photographs.

Buddha Maitreya’s stunning Japanese garden took 45 years to create and now attracts thousands of visitors every year

Maitreya's exotic plot is in full bloom and filled with stunning pink and white blossoms which make for an escape from reality

Maitreya’s exotic plot is in full bloom and filled with stunning pink and white blossoms which make for an escape from reality

The garden is filled with plants and trees such as maple, moss and bamboo from Japan as well as stepping stones and bridges

The stunning pink and white blossoms make for a dreamy escape from reality, and look like they could be from a fairytale.

Maitreya said: ‘I wanted to create a peaceful environment, and that took me back to Japan.

‘There’s two acres, and it’s a space used to teach visitors about mediation and my beliefs.

‘I have four fish ponds, filled with koi, and it’s a beautiful serene setting.

‘Every year it becomes more and more refined.

‘Even in the winter, there’s lots of trimming, racking and cutting to do.

Maitreya uses his two-acre garden to teach visitors about meditation and his beliefs and remind him of his homeland

Maitreya uses his two-acre garden to teach visitors about meditation and his beliefs and remind him of his homeland

The 79-year-old says the garden requires continuous cutting, trimming and preening in the winter ahead of summer months

The 79-year-old says the garden requires continuous cutting, trimming and preening in the winter ahead of summer months

Maitreya has also seamlessly blended in typically English favourites such as holly, forsythia, primulas, aubretia and fir trees

Maitreya has also seamlessly blended in typically English favourites such as holly, forsythia, primulas, aubretia and fir trees

‘But you need to prepare well in the winter for a good summer so there’s always lots of work to do.’

Maitreya’s garden is filled with not only plants and trees such as maple, moss and bamboo from Japan, but also include stepping stones, bridges and even a Japanese crystal garden.

The 79-year-old has also seamlessly blended in typically English favourites such as holly, forsythia, primulas, aubretia and fir trees to create his unique oasis of tranquility.

Maitreya was born Koji Takeuchi in Nagoya, Japan, to a noodle factory owner. But after rejecting mainstream life, he changed his name and became a Buddhist monk. 

The garden lies behind an ordinary looking house a short distance from the A1133 between Newark & Gainsborough

The garden lies behind an ordinary looking house a short distance from the A1133 between Newark & Gainsborough 

Maitreya paid £13,000 for the former farmhouse after travelling to Thailand, India and Nepal, where he taught meditation

Maitreya paid £13,000 for the former farmhouse after travelling to Thailand, India and Nepal, where he taught meditation

His travels took him to Thailand, India and Nepal, where he taught mediation for a couple of years, before a friend invited him to visit the UK, where he paid £13,000 for the former farmhouse on the then weed-infested plot of land.

‘I knew straight away I could be happy there,’ he said.

With no previous experience of gardening, he began the huge task of transforming the grounds into something that would remind him of his homeland but also include shrubs and flowers that would grow easily in the British climate.

All the plants were originally given to him by friends and students on the meditation courses he was running at the same time.

 

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