the garden

Gardening opening

The Garden opens on 3rd March 2023, and will feature our many waterfalls & hellebores in flower throught the grounds.

The Bonsai Centre and nursery is open everyday.

Cascades Gardens

This is a garden that takes you on a spiritual journey. A place where you connect with the natural world and they in turn help you connect with yourself. You can feel a magic spirituality in every garden seat. Pure magic.

Pilar Medrano Dell – RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee Member

cascades gardens

Cascades Gardens is a public Meditation Garden and Bonsai Centre inspired By Japanese gardens And Buddhist Philosophy. We are loacted in the historic village of Bonsall near Matlock, Derbyshire. We are peaceful and natural garden to visit, with homemade cakes and hot drinks available in our cafe.

The grounds were originally home to a 19th century quarry, lead mine and corn mill. Since Alan Clements moved here 30 years ago, he has transformed the site into a fascinating garden, designed to complement and blend into the spectacular natural landscape of rocks, cliffs and woodland.

Cascades gardens is set on many levels with a new meditation seat around every corner showing perennial flower beds, roses, waterside plantings and alpine and conifer rockeries. There is a great view from the cliff-top path and quarry bank. Every season brings new surprises with hosts of hellebores, hostas, rare and unusual perennial flowers, shrubs, trees and conifers. Cascades Gardens is the perfect place to relax and reflect.

the Landscape

Located in the historic village of Bonsall, near Matlock, the garden is set on the site of a disused quarry, corn mill and lead mine. 30 years of development by the owner, Alan Clements, has transformed this wasteland into a fabulous and tranquil paradise.
A 80 ft cliff towers over the gardens, with the combination of massive rocks, water and lush natural planting intended to refresh the soul and celebrate Nature.

Beautiful and soothing with gifts for your eyes in every corner … and every sight shows you Nature is the great creator of harmony and balance

Danish Lady

Relaxation and meditation

The more complex and demanding the world becomes, the more we seek sanctuary in our gardens. Years of austerity, Covid and global conflict has increasingly led us to look to gardens and beautiful natural places to retreat, relax, and find peace of mind.
Inspired by the Zen Buddhist practice of zazen (meaning ‘just sitting’), Cascades Gardens has many places to sit in quiet corners with great views amongst its dramatic scenery, with the sound of trickling water to accompany you.

Inspired by japanese and buddhist philosophy

The garden has many Japanese features, including our karesansui raked gravel garden, Japanese water garden, giant golden buddha and bonsai centre.

Because the garden was a quarry and lead mine, we have collected a range of attractive naturally shaped rocks, reminding us of the traditional Japanese cultural past-time of ‘suiseki’.

Our new Japanese pool garden has been created in the early part of 2022 from a silted mill pond. You can now walk through a range of acer and ch… trees, ferns and clipped hedges, while listening to the sound of gently flowing water.

garden group visits

We welcome group visits to our garden. Alan Clements, the owner, is very knowledgable and can give an introductory talk on the garden, its highlights and its history. The garden is full of interest and is a great visit for garden interest groups and horticultural groups. We can offer tea, homemade cakes and light lunches.

Garden opening

The Garden opens on 3rd March 2023, and will feature our many waterfalls & hellebores in flower throught the grounds.

The garden opens to the public from Friday 10am to 4pm everyday to Tuesday and is available only for group visits, events and maintenance on Wednesdays and Thursdays. See below for concessions.

The Bonsai Centre and nursey is open everyday.

Garden entry prices

Season tickets£20.00
Children (under 15)£4.00
Children (under 5)Free
Gardener’s World 2 for 1Accepted on Mon, Tue only
RHS consessionsAccepted on Mon, Tue, Sat only

about alan clements

Alan has always been fascinated by eastern culture and travelled to Japan, China and India many times. As chairman of the tibet society he worked with His Holiness The Dalai Lama on a range of projects in India. Keen to explore Japanese culture and learn about Zen Buddhism, he made three trips to Japan, and was trained in Zen meditation.

Alan is passionate about the way that gardens can be good for mental health and spiritual wellbeing, and has spent the last 30 years developing gardens to connect with nature and try to help people develop spiritually in a natural setting. Read more…