Man Creates Tranquil Japanese-Inspired Garden Oasis in Ordinary Bristol Home


Updated: 5:02 PM, Mon February 12, 2024

Behind an ordinary-looking Brislington terrace house lies one of the West Country’s most stunning gardens. Martin Fitton has spent 14 years renovating his grounds into a tranquil Japanese-themed paradise.

Lorry driver Martin has become well-known across the nation and even has fans in Japan, after appearing on the country’s ANN News. Speaking last year, the dad-of-two said: I was on the world news in Japan in November. It was a shock and I got very excited.

The 56-year-old has spent over a decade creating his masterpiece, devoting two days a week to his labor of love. It all started after he visited a public Japanese garden while on holiday in Compton Acres. .He said: My wife also saw a Japanese garden on telly once and said, ‘that looks nice’.

The theme started at the top of garden then creeped down and jumped over the house – now it’s in the front garden too. His stunning multi-tiered garden is now complete with a pond that homes 23 koi fish, some as old as 17.

Martin, who has lived in the home since 2001, says his secret space is loved by his local community. My neighbors think it’s amazing and can’t believe it’s on their street, he explained. I always check with them before I build anything big, but it really is all hidden and contained to my garden. You’d struggle to see it over the bushes.

Martin began gardening in 2009 and then renovated it in 2017 using better materials and traditional Japanese techniques. He’s spent over Β£8,000 creating his oasis, but he’s saved a lot doing the construction himself. And he’s not finished yet.

If I see something expensive, I’ll try to make it myself cheaper, he said. At the moment, I’m working on fence panels trying to make them look less English-looking.

Describing how he feels in the garden, he said: It felt so peaceful and quiet and calm, and I was looking around at it all and thought I could definitely do that myself I love being in the garden and I’ve always enjoyed working with wood, so it was both things I was passionate about coming together.

My kids were teenagers by this point so weren’t really using the garden like they used to as children, so as soon as I get home, I started on transforming the old summer house into a tea house. The tea house is the first thing you see when you enter the garden and it was the first thing I built, so that’s really nice.

Despite his fascination with Japanese culture, Martin has never made it to the country, but the couple plan to go for their joint 60th birthday.

He said: The kids have their own places now, but they both say the garden is amazing, they love it as well. My wife thinks it’s fantastic and often sits with me on the pavilion to look at it.

The response to the garden has been overwhelming. I’m really pleased I decided to do it, and I hope I’ve created the same peace and calm I felt when visiting my first Japanese garden for other people.

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Tanvi Shah
Tanvi Shah
Tanvi Shah is an expert author at The Reportify who explores the exciting world of artificial intelligence (AI). With a passion for AI advancements, Tanvi shares exciting news, breakthroughs, and applications in the Artificial Intelligence category. She can be reached at for any inquiries or further information.

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