Stephen Morphew

Location: Horsham, West Sussex
About Stephen Morphew Dip Hort (RHS) ...

Unique is a word which is used too freely and often incorrectly!  Japan, though, IS unique from many perspectives.  I offer a number of presentations about different aspects of the country and its remarkable culture.  Even now, relatively few ‘gaijin’ (foreigners) visit Japan from Europe – perhaps I can inspire some more to make the journey!
During my visits to Japan, I have covered a significant part of Honshu, the ‘mainland’ of Japan and have also travelled extensively in the two major Southern Islands, Kyushu and Shikoku, which differ in many ways and which are even less frequented by Western tourists.  I have been most fortunate in making many Japanese friends and have been privileged to stay in a number of private houses.  Through the generosity of these people, I visited many fascinating places which the guide books neglect, gaining valuable insights into Japan’s culture, aspects of which can remain hidden or totally unfathomable to most visitors.

My long term interest in garden design and history was my original motivation to visit Japan and I continue to pursue this wider interest with visits to both British and European Gardens.

About my talks...

I am a professional tutor with more than 35 years’ experience of public presentations.  Coming from a management background in the commercial world, I brought a disciplined, professional approach to my work in gardens.  I am a qualified horticultural designer, consultant, tutor and pruning specialist.  I also work for one of The World’s most respected horticultural organisations as an Examiner and Consultant.  My presentations are made using a digital projector and I provide all necessary equipment.  If you have a large screen available, however, I would appreciate it.
I am able to tailor presentations to meet the particular needs of an audience – certainly in terms of timing and, to a degree, the content, if you have a particular area of interest.


My fee is £75.00 plus 50p per mile return from Horsham.

My Contact Details:

07432 656464

Japan viewed from the inside by a gaijin (foreigner)


During my first visits to Japan, I felt like someone on the outside, looking in, then someone ‘opened the door and invited me in’ enabling me to gain insights into a culture which can otherwise seem impenetrable.  Allow me to share some of my experiences with you!

Japanese Gardens – An Appreciation

2.Morphew 320x240

Japanese Gardens are extremely varied.  Many of their design principles date back more than a thousand years yet we can find things relevant to 21st Century living.  Japanese culture – art, religion, samurai, tea ceremony – all are part of the story.

Visiting Japan as a tourist

3.Morphew 320x240

Surprisingly few Westerners make this trip.  Are we afraid?  I’ll cover getting there, getting around, what to see and do AND how to survive such a very different culture!

European Garden History – Some Personal Perspectives


The history of Europe’s gardens is enriched by many colourful characters and memorable incidents.  Join me on a trip through history and around some outstanding gardens, taking the first steps on what may become the journey of a lifetime!

Georgian Landscape Gardens – Visions of Arcadia!


Reactions against the formal French and Dutch Gardens prompted English Gardeners to develop a unique style – they were no longer simply copyists.  Some sought to re-create Arcadia here – but was their vision based upon a myth?

Below are two presentations which I originally gave in Japan, re-interpreted for a British audience:

Japanese Gardens and English Gardens – Some Differences and Similarities


While obviously very different in many ways, there are some surprising parallels!  As a designer I find these fascinating – as I hope you will!

Comparing English Castles with Japanese Shiro

7.Morphew 320x240

Japanese Castles (shiro) are very different to anything to be seen in Europe, but they evolved to fulfil the same purposes, so many parallels may be drawn.

Stephen Morphew Contact Details:

07432 656464