Nature, inspiration, sublimation … the spirit of the Japanese garden

         In view of such a lack of sensitivity, I believe that I will never repeat it enough … Limiting oneself to the form, this is understand nothing about the Japanese garden … Focusing on the purchase of a lantern or a basin, this is miss its spirit … Densifying vegetation on a branch upward, this is grasp nothing about the essence of Japanese pruning …

The real Japanese garden is nature imagined and sublimated by the hand of human !

Course of Japanese garden creation - Waterfall and stream - Frederique Dumas -

After learning about technique, aesthetics and philosophy, nature will be your first source of inspiration. It is simply and purely energy, the latter will then be born by running the mountain and the craggy rocks, patiently and lovingly covered with lichens and moss, discovering a cascade at the turn of a path, by treading upon the mossy soil of a wet undergrowth loaded with humus scent in the middle of the ferns, playing hide and seek with the rays of the sun through a cascading pine branch overhanging your point of view … And not in sitting in front of your television or watching Facebook for hours !

In the case of a cascade and its stream, for example, nature does not stack the stones regularly, nor according to their size or shape. These are only human considerations and constructions …

The quality of your creations in Japanese garden will be determined by your ability to create or recreate natural arrangements. As long as one detects your hand, even in spite of the finest materials, as above, you will only be on the way …

And as a teacher, my goal is to take you to excellence. This type of creation is now also available through a new course at Academy “Sublime SUKIYA”, with an additional level of application difficulty.

Result of Contest 2017 – Frederique DUMAS – Niwaki & Co

        Last spring, I had placed a Contest, which ran from 1 March to 30 June 2017, with the possibility of winning this superb set below : a 270mm Japanese hand pruning scissors and a matching leather case with a metal clip, worth €182.

By Facebook, e-mail or telephone, you have been numerous to participate (more of fifty in all), I thank you, it made me very happy …! Several people succeeded in the challenge and won gifts …

The happy winner of the final draw, which took place as scheduled on 30 June, is called Andrea WEBER. She was the originator of the registration of another Quebecer on two courses of Japanese pruning in next September in the North America Training Center. This charming person, obviously living in Quebec, in the beautiful region of Témiscamingue, I will add the photo of the handing-over of the tools set a little later. I will be only near Montreal in September and for now it’s a bit far … just for a picture !

But for the moment, here is her reaction on Facebook :

Contest 2017 Niwaki & Co - Frederique Dumas

I already give you RDV in March 2018 … for a new challenge !

Transparency Japanese pruning – Sukashi sentei

         As I already explained in my last book Niwaki and Japanese Gardens published by Editions Eyrolles (only in French for the moment), the pruning in transparency or sukashi sentei represents the ultimate in Japanese pruning.

For example, here is this type of pruning made in Japan on a dogwood (cornus kousa).


course of Japanese pruning in transparency - Frederique Dumas


course of Japanese pruning in transparency - Frederique Dumas

Is not it just superb ?

If you want to apply this kind of elegant pruning to your garden, I suggest you a course in France at the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy to learn how to practice it on evergreen in next January 2018 and on deciduous trees in next July 2018, or at its training Center in North America, in next September 2018. Contact Me .

A big thank you to Kameyama san.

Course of “tamamono” and “karikomi” creation

         The tamamono or karikomi are important elements of the Japanese garden. In addition to the enormous advantage of structuring space, they represent all the soft, rounded bushes that can be found in nature, located between the level of shrubs and that of the ground cover.

Some of the most beautiful tamamono of Japan are found in the garden of the Adachi Museum, very well known …

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

As for karikomi, it is easier to find in virtually all gardens in Japan …

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

But getting beautiful tamamono, a spherical bush, or karikomi of more organic form remains a challenge and is not within the reach of all the shears. For some people, this is the most difficult pruning. It requires enormous aptitudes, such as three-dimensional vision, good understanding of space, precision, finesse of perception, correct estimation of dimensions and proportions, … etc.

To help you become familiar with this specific pruning, I offer you a workshop entirely devoted to it, where you will learn to create them, but also to maintain them, partly on the site of the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy where you create your own tamamono

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

… And partly in the surrounding woods. Explaination…

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

Demonstration and fine finishing…

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

And put into practice !

course of tamamono and karikomi creation - Frederique Dumas

Japanese gardens e.learning – training videos already in line…

        Your e-learning Platform JAPANESE GARDEN INSTITUTE to learn Japanese gardens and niwaki creation, authentic and traditional, exists since 2015, Mai 1st.

She started with a dozen videos on beautiful gardens in Japan, craftsmen, the tsubo-niwa of Shizen no sei Garden … and since, others have come to complete them. Thirty videos are now available for you.

Apart from the videos reserved for subscribers, accessible for a modest sum equivalent to 15 € per year, you already have at your disposal to purchase the Basics of Japanese pruning, Creation of spherical or organic bushes tamamono and other karikomi and the operation of pinching of pine buds or midoritsumi. About Japanese garden, you already have the Basics, as the art of setting stones or ishi-gumi and the creation of a bamboo border made by Japanese gardeners.

I inform you that I’m working on the creation of two training videos, the first one about the creation and building of a tsukubai and another one about the creation of a pine niwaki, which will be available to you in the coming months.

Training videos japanese gardens and niwaki - Frederique Dumas -

Training videos japanese gardens and niwaki - Frederique Dumas -

New video – Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji

         A new video – all the gardens of Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji temple of Kyoto – is now on the e-learning Platform of JAPANESE GARDEN INSTITUTE !

To watch it, rendez-vous at this adress :

Video of Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji garden - Kyoto - Frederique Dumas -

Looking forward to having you among the community of the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy (prev. NIWAKI Inspiration ZEN) … !

New video – Giō-ji garden

         A new video – the garden of Giō-ji temple in Kyoto – is now on the e-learning Platform of JAPANESE GARDEN INSTITUTE !

To watch it, rendez-vous at this adress :

Video of Giō-ji garden - Kyoto - Frederique Dumas

Looking forward to having you among the community of the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy (prev. NIWAKI Inspiration ZEN) … !

Third creation of tsuboniwa at Shizen no sei Garden – The preparation

        A little more than a year ago, I informed you of the start of the construction site for the third tsuboniwa at Garden SHIZEN NO SEI. Yes, this is progressing slowly … but the stages of this creation take place between courses animations, writing, videos, traveling to Japan, creating gardens and so on … however this makes progress and that’s what’s important !

Once the theme and name of the garden are chosen, in order to give an intentional impetus to this project, the preparation of the site consisted first and foremost of the repair of the stone joints …

Tsuboniwa of Shizen no sei Garden - Frederique Dumas

Here is what is finished.

Tsuboniwa of Shizen no sei Garden - Frederique Dumas

Tsuboniwa of Shizen no sei Garden - Frederique Dumas

A typically Japanese fence in the “ajiro” 網代垣 style will come soon to dress the not restored part (the stones being badly arranged).

Tsuboniwa of Shizen no sei Garden - Frederique Dumas

The 2D plan has just been completed and all raw materials are now gathered, including beautiful granite stones for the creation of the cascade and stream.

Tsuboniwa of Shizen no sei Garden - Frederique Dumas

See you soon for the next step !

The garden “reflection of nature©”, an anti-carcinogenic power, the opening of a new path towards healing …

        Cancer is a disease described since antiquity. The Greek physician Hippocrates first compared the cancerous tumors to a crab. For a long time, cancer has been an incurable disease, but today the progress of medicine is contributing to the healing of some of them. Many external environmental factors, such as pollution or radiation, lifestyles such as alcohol, tobacco, or poor diet, or internal factors such as aging or heredity… would be origin of the numerous cancers. But it is certain that getting sick can not be attributed to a single factor.

There are also other triggers that are much less talked about because they are considered controversial, such as too much negative emotions being badly managed, and then another simple reason becoming more and more obvious as the studies of Professor Qing Li and his team from Nippon Medical School of Tokyo imply it, the fact that people cut themselves off from nature to pile up the ones on the others in cities, concrete forests bathed in pollution and noise, where sadness, stress and anxiety reign supreme !


In any case, according to WHO, the World Health Organization, the number of deaths due to cancer continues to increase throughout the world, a particularly marked trend for breast cancer, also in developing countries, where the Western way of life is spreading. The number of deaths rose to 8.8 million in 2015, up more than 13% from the 7.6 million recorded seven years earlier. It is undeniable that cancers have become the disease of our century.

So to avoid getting sick and maintaining health, or recovering it if the disease has already settled, apart from a healthier as possible lifestyle, what can help us?

If it is impossible for us to live in nature and especially in the vicinity of a forest where the air is loaded with terpenes, substances secreted by trees and which have the power to vitalize our immune system by boosting the number of killer cells and anti-cancer proteins, the development of a therapeutic garden for example, is a specialized environment that responds exactly to this type of intent. Even if one can find a certain charm in calling it a “healing garden,” it will not heal (in the sense of causing healing) because all healing and improvement begins inside to go to outside, never in the opposite direction. Above all, you can never force someone to heal … On the other hand, this therapeutic garden will provide, will create a perfect environment where innate healing intelligence can be easily put to work.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy©  - Frederique Dumas

Such a garden must contain essences of nature, but not only. It must also look like visions of nature, natural landscapes. When we see it, we must be led to ask ourselves the question, nature or garden ?

These are not the biggest rocks, the biggest and the most expensive niwaki pruned by an acclaimed professional who make the quality of a garden – all this is only ego – much less its ability to make us well in the case of a therapeutic garden, but rather the arrangement of fine materials closest to what exists naturally. In the nature, there are not only big rocks!

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy©  - Frederique Dumas

In the world of the therapeutic garden, an arrangement that reveals too much the hand of human, his desire for control and his refusal to let go, does not have the same beneficial impact as a garden that simply reflects a natural environment, an undergrowth, the forest, a calm pond or a small stream …

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy©  - Frederique Dumas

The Japanese have understood this for several millennia, but lately, in their gardens, traditional or more contemporary, they tend to gardens that reproduce nature more and more.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy©  - Frederique Dumas

Frederique DUMAS
Niwado© & Niwakido©
Hortitherapy . NIWATHERAPY©
Creation of therapeutic Japanese gardens
Shinrin yoku 森林浴 & Forest therapy