THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS
The Management & Staff of the Gardens would like to thank all those who have lent their support to the gardens since it’s conception. To all those bodies that are currently supporting the gardens through Funding, Employment Schemes, and are mentioned below and throughout this website. To the Companies and Individuals who have given us sponsorship and to the thousands of visitors who come to visit us every year, these beautiful gardens would not exist without you.
The Gardens are also supported by a magnificent Team of Volunteers who help out throughout the year, giving their time unconditionally. Thank You..
Supporting the gardens can be done in so many ways and we welcome donations, sponsorship as well as new volunteers and of course our many visitors.
THANK YOU TO ALL CONTRIBUTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHS & VIDEO CONTENT FOR THIS WEBSITE: The Koizumi Family, Noel Browne Photographer, Michelle Brett, Waterford City & County Council, Daniel O’Neill, Eileen Pender, Michael Cullen – Irish Images and Our Staff.
frequently asked questions
WHO OWN’S THE GARDENS?
The lands are owned by Waterford City and County Council. They have been leased since 2014 to Tramore Development Trust, the parent body of the gardens.
WHY A JAPANESE GARDEN ?
The concept and storyline of the gardens was developed by local woman, Agnes Aylward. Following a visit to Tramore in 2012 by Hearn’s great grandson, Bon Koizumi and his wife Shoko, Agnes brought forward a proposal to create a lasting memorial to Lafcadio Hearn on the site of the former Tramore House Gardens. As a former civil servant dealing with tourism policy, she had become aware of Lafcadio Hearn’s importance in Japan, and had also established the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme to encourage garden tourism.
HOW WAS THE IDEA DEVELOPED ?
A plan was put in place during 2013 to create a biographical garden based on the life and work of Lafcadio Hearn, and narrated through a series of ten different gardens. The gardens and storyline was created around Hearn’s life journey and draws both from his writing on Japanese folklore and from his famous article ‘In a Japanese Garden’.
In 2013, with the backing of local voluntary body Tramore Development Trust, an advisory board was established comprising local business people and individuals with expertise in areas that would help to successfully drive and deliver the project. They were: Jennifer Allen, Agnes Aylward, Janet Carey, Laura Cassin, Morris Conway, Billy Duggan, Eoin Dullea, Louise Grubb, Gerry Kelly, Sonomi Leslie, Anne Harpur, Finola Reid, Fearghal Reidy, John Smiles, Joseph Stokes, Sonya Walsh.
HOW IS THE GARDEN FUNDED ?
The gardens are very dependent on gate receipts, and the assistance of the Pobal Community Service Programme (CSP) and the Tramore Community Employment Scheme. Sponsorship and donations are vital to our continuing operation. Individuals can become a ‘Friend of the Garden’ (12 month pass for two people) for €60. It is necessary for the continued development of the gardens to secure grant funding, and sponsorship from local corporate bodies and individuals on an ongoing basis.
WHO FUNDED THE ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT ?
Sponsorship towards the initial development of the gardens came from Waterford City and County Council and the Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund. Private sector contributions were received from SMBC Aviation Capital; Dawn International Limited; Bausch & Lomb Ireland, Tramore Tidy Towns and Redsox Media. Recent capital developments have been supported by Failte Ireland, the Dormant Accounts and Waterford Leader Partnership.
WHO DESIGNED & CREATED THE GARDENS ?
The original design concept was developed by Agnes Aylward. The main design work was undertaken by Martin Curran Designs, with the architectural support of Morris Conway and his intern team at Waterford Council. Martin Curran, is a horticultural graduate of Warrenstown College who acquired his expertise in Japanese garden design in Shikoku Japan, before returning to Ireland where he set up his business Martin Curran Designs.
Martin oversaw the entire construction with the assistance of garden manager Michael Keane and a team of local gardeners under Tramore CE Scheme.Tramore-based garden designer, Laura Cassin, provided the layout for the Victorian and American Gardens. Japanese gardener Kazuki Kusumi created the Teahouse Garden.
CONSTRUCTION TEAM (2013-2015)
Martin Curran, Project Manager.
Michael Keane, Site Manager.
Members of the Tramore Community Employment Scheme.
Willie Moore: Machinery Contractor.
SEE MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CONSTRUCTION
WHO DESIGNED & BUILT THE TIMBER STRUCTURES ?
The Japanese timber structures were designed by Mike Roberts, FRIAI, a native of Yorkshire, who lives in Co. Kilkenny with his Japanese wife Kazue. Mike is passionate about Japanese architecture, which he has studied over many years.
The Japanese Tea House and the Azumaya, or Summer Pavilion were constructed on site, by members of our garden staff. Richard Cowman was lead carpenter on these projects and was assisted by Michael Keane and Alan Molloy. The main timbers used in these structures are Douglas Fir and Cedar. The Japanese Entrance Gate was constructed by Kiltra Joinery. The Soribachi or arched bridge was constructed by N.J. Doherty Solutions Limited.
WHAT IS TRAMORE HOUSE USED FOR ?
Tramore House, a beautiful three-bay two-storey over basement house was built c.1850. Positioned in an elevated site overlooking Tramore Bay the house and gardens were privately owned until the 1960s. The house is now rented by Waterford City and County Council to the Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The site of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, were originally part of Tramore House but now operate as a seperate entity.
HOW IS THE GARDEN STAFFED ?
The gardens are open all year round. Full time staff and garden manager posts are assisted by the Pobal CSP Programme. Both garden and office management are assisted by part time staff from the Tramore Community Employment Scheme. The Project Manager works in a voluntary capacity, while a team of local volunteers form a rota to assist with visitor reception.
Visitors are welcome to ask our gardeners about the planting in the gardens. The more popular plants and varieties are named on small black name plaques. SEE FULL LIST OF OUR PLANTING