I am Jenny Feuerpeil and I design and build gardens in Berlin, Germany. Between 2009 and 2015, I spent some very exciting years working and learning in Japan, California and England.

 

Tokyo (2010-12)

My training and working years in Japan are the biggest influence on my way of garden thinking. Fascinated by Tadao Ando's architecture, I left Germany for Japan in order to immerse myself in traditional and modern Japanese design. Next to the daily work at a garden maintenance company near Tokyo, where I learnt the basics of Japanese gardening, I spent my free days visiting famous gardens in Tokyo and Zen temples and their gardens in Kamakura and Yamanashi. I also learnt to write and speak Japanese, which opened the doors to my next job - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

 

I met garden designer Keizo Hayano in Tokyo in 2012. With his ideas and my passion for Japanese gardens and traditional culture, we built the website and e-book platform Real Japanese Gardens, which continues to deliver reliably researched information and stunning pictures of Japanese gardens to a global audience of readers. Real Japanese Gardens (English). 

 

 

Kyoto (2014)

In 2014 I went to Kyoto for three months to work as an apprentice to a traditional Japanese garden master. I learnt a lot, not only about Japanese garden building, but also about work ethic and myself. Every morning, I took care of a major Zen temple in Kyoto. In the afternoons, I climbed and pruned tall trees high above the ground with a great view over Kyoto, I repaired bamboo fences, and felled bamboo and processed it for new projects. And I sure was proud when I was finally was allowed to rake a pattern in the gravel garden of the temple's main building. 

 

It was a wonderful time that heavily influenced me and my garden work. My Blog '90 Days in Kyoto' (English). 

 

 

 

California (2013-15)

Between 2013 and 2015 I lived and worked in San Francisco, California. I found myself in yet another climate and surrounded by a new, fascinating plant world. In the ongoing California drought conscious garden owners and designers use 'water-wise planting', drought-resistant native plants, succulents, grasses and desert perennials. I found this unique aesthetic works great for Germany, too.

 

As a gardener, I experienced San Francisco's most beautiful gardens at globetrotter Christopher Hurley's garden design and build company Sacred Space Gardens. In my free time, I volunteered at the garden restoration project on the legendary prison island Alcatraz. To continue my Japanese garden training, I build a bamboo fence at the Hakone Japanese Garden in Saratoga.

 

 

London, England (2008-09)

I learnt the basics of European garden design in 2008/9 under Rosemary Alexander of the English Gardening School London's hidden garden gem, the Chelsea Physic Garden.

 

Germany

During my studies, I interned at the German garden magazine 'Die Gartenzeitung' (now 'GartenFlora'). This is also where my garden design column 'Die Gartenschule' was published.