Popular just before the Victorian era took held in English, the Anglo-Japanese garden is a style that was popular for the second half of the nineteenth century. It was the increasing interest in the styles and forms of the Japanese and other Asian gardens that drove the newer styles in England not just in gardens, but in architecture as well.
The Origins of the Anglo-Japanese English Garden
The Anglo-Japanese and Anglo-Chinese gardens did away with the formal rows that were so common in an English garden and instead created an irregular planting method that was striking and pleasing to the eye. The purpose of the Anglo-Japanese garden was to blend the English plants and styles with the more cultural elements of Asia.
Inside an Anglo-Japanese English Garden, the plants may contain some of those that would be more naturally suited for Asia, but it is the style of planting and arranging the plants that makes the bigger difference in the Anglo-Japanese style of garden rather than the plants themselves. In the garden, the plants are arranged to appeal to the senses in the way that nature would – the plants are arranged naturally.
Japanese Architecture in Anglo Japanese Gardens
As the period moved forward, the English gardens began to include other elements of the Japanese culture. Japanese architecture was introduced to the English gardens. These features included large elements such as ebonized furniture and Japanese-style architecture details including pavilions and even water features.
Smaller elements of Japanese style became commonplace in the Anglo Japanese gardens including unglazed terracotta pottery and Japanese art on other planting containers. The English gardens were traditionally large around major homes and were designed for strolling. While later models of the Anglo-Japanese garden included more “eye-catching” features than the original versions, the style of casual planting to mimic nature has survived in many gardens still today.