Over a number of years, photographer Yasutomo Ebisu and editor/writer Rumiko Suzuki visited more than a dozen English gardens for the Japanese lifestyle magazine ku:nel. This book brings together the features they published on those visits, which began with Suzuki’s desire to encounter gardeners blessed with the “green fingers” that are so prized in the UK. These artists tend to their gardens while carrying on the spirit of their predecessors—the designers who transformed English gardens from formal geometric layouts into spaces in harmony with nature, for example, or the Englishwomen who elevated gardening to the realm of high art.
Suzuki was moved by the gardens’ ability to evolve and change while also retaining their timelessness, and this compilation of her work with Ebisu perfectly captures the vibrancy and beauty of these otherworldly havens that have endured and will continue to endure, now and always.
Yasutomo Ebisu is a photographer. Born in Nagasaki Prefecture, he began taking photos thanks to the influence of his father and grandfather, who ran a photo studio. After graduating in photography from the Nihon University College of Art, he began producing work including editorial and advertising visuals for fashion magazines and portraits shot during his travels abroad. He has participated in numerous art books, including Katsuya Kamo’s Kamo Head; in 2021 his work was featured in the joint exhibition Photography & Us at OFS Gallery in Tokyo. His photography collection Bones (inlock press, 2014) presents images of animal skeletons amassed by the editor Lloyd Kahn.
Rumiko Suzuki (d. 2018) was an editor and writer. Born in the city of Fujinomiya in Shizuoka Prefecture, she joined the publisher Magazine House in 1986 and served on the editorial team of Olive magazine. In 1992, she left the company and moved to France, then became a freelance writer and editor on her return to Japan. She wrote for the lifestyle magazine ku:nel from its launch in 2001 until 2015, contributing to seventy-nine issues in all. She also joined the magazine Tsuru & Hana for its launch in 2014, contributing content until 2017. Suzuki authored a number of books, including Smile Food (Magazine House, 2000), Pari no sumikko (In a Corner of Paris; Magazine House, 2010), and O Ku Naito Rei: Chijo wa donna tokoro datta ka (O Ku Rei Naito: What Kind of Place Was the Earth?; coauthored with Rei Naito, HeHe, 2014), and worked on numerous others, including Arimoto Yoko no ryori no kihon (The Basic Cooking Style of Yoko Arimoto; Gentosha, 2000). She also translated the Japanese edition of Espresso by Karl Petzke and Sara Slavin (Flex Firm, 1995) among other works.