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Release | Ayumi Ohmiya

Let’s visit the gardens in Hokkaido!

Lilac flowers which tell the starts of summer in Hokkaido became full bloom. It’s now the best time of the year to spend some time outside. Seasonal flowers and greens are watching the clear blue sky in parks. Why don’t you visit around gardens in Hokkaido with the guidebook during the best time of the year to appreciate flowers and greens in the north? 

▲砂川市S邸の庭。庭のテーマは『ー花音ー和モダンの庭』▲S family’s garden in Sunagawa City. The theme of the garden: “Kanon-Modern Japanese garden."


Flower lovers' treasure: the guidebook about open gardens

Open gardens started in England, the developed country of garden culture in the 1920s. It’s a style of life to interact and exchange information between other gardeners by opening their gardens to the public. Recently, many places in Japan began to host open gardens, and it became to be known as a place for flower lovers to exchange information and learn more about flowers and greens. 

▲美唄市O邸。庭のテーマは『フラが踊れる芝のある庭』▲O family’s garden in Bibai City. The theme of the garden: “A garden with grass to dance the hula.” 

▲岩見沢市S邸。庭のテーマは『庭を楽しむ』▲S family’s garden in Iwamizawa City. The theme of the garden: “Enjoy the garden.” 

▲北広島市S邸。庭のテーマは『ヨーロッパの香り』▲S family’s garden in Kita-Hiroshima City. The theme of the garden: “A taste of Europe.” 

In Hokkaido, energetic people started open gardens to activate interactions between gardeners in Hokkaido from 2001. It was the time still the term "open garden" was not common in Japan. The two people who started open gardens in Hokkaido were Ayumi Umeki, the president of the garden shop in Tsukigata-Cho “Cottage Garden,” and Mayumi Uchikura, the manager of the coffee shop in Eniwa City “Coffee Carrot.” These two are famous that all flower lovers in Hokkaido know about them. They were the two people who led the gardening industry in Hokkaido. 

▲『ブレインズ』を立ち上げた梅木あゆみさん(左)と内倉真由美さん▲Ayumi Umeki (on the left) and Mayumi Uchikura established “Brains.” 

The two people led the establishment of a non-profit organization “Brains - us who seed” to deepen the interactions between gardeners and to build a place to exchange information. They published the guidebook “OPEN GARDENS of HOKKAIDO” as one of the activities for gardeners in Hokkaido such as planning events and seminars. They published the first edition in 2001, and the 2019 version will be their 19th edition. 

▲2019年版は5月下旬に完成予定▲They are planning to publish the 2019 version in late May. 


Various gardens with owner’s characteristics and creativities

▲小樽市M邸。庭のテーマは『プチガーデン』▲M family’s garden in Otaru City. The theme of the garden: “Petit Garden.” 

“OPEN GARDENS of HOKKAIDO” is the guidebook which gathers information about gardens of private properties and stores that practice unique gardening with plants in the center and accept visitors.
The guidebook has information about the address, description, and various information such as hours they accept visitors of public gardens in each area in Hokkaido. 

They include the owner’s thoughts and messages about the garden, and you can learn how owners put together their gardens as you walk through them. You may encounter plants that you have never seen, get hints of growing plants that are difficult, and ideas and designs of the whole garden, etc. 

There are 104 gardens which passed the investigation in the 2019 version. Gardens are in variety such as flowery gardens with many roses, relaxing gardens with more green than flowers, playful gardens, etc. 


The most popular season for open gardens is the rose season! Respect manners and make it a special encounter

The rose season in Hokkaido is from late June to early July. They said that many people visit open gardens during this season. Although they open to the public, you will be entering private properties so visitors must respect manners. Read carefully about cautions in the guidebook, such as opening days and hours.

Brains prepare plates for open gardens. Check the plate if it’s facing the green colored OPEN side or yellow colored CLOSED side. Also, gardening work must be done every year, so gardeners may not be able to show the garden every time. The information in the guidebook is valid only for the year. Be careful that it is challenging to plan the trip with past versions! 


▲ブレインズオリジナルのプレート。表面は緑でOPEN,裏が黄色でCLOSEDになっている▲The original plate made by Brains. The green side is OPEN, and the yellow side is CLOSED. 

It might be nice to visit around gardens with this yellow guidebook for your trip in Hokkaido this year. 

Contact Brains’ office about purchasing the guidebook (1,080 yen, including tax).
Cottage Garden, 1 Kitanojo, Tsukigata, Kabato-gun, Hokkaido, 061-0502
Phone: 0126-37-2185
FAX: 0126-37-2189
  • Let’s visit the gardens in Hokkaido!

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Ayumi Ohmiya