Maple Leaf Court
The Paragon
Richmond Terrace
The Polygon
Japanese Garden Maple Leaf Court
Cornwallis Crescent East
St. Vincent's Rocks
Royal York Crescent
Maple Leaf Court Mediterranean Courtyard


A Sunken Japanese garden, a Mediterranean courtyard, and flowers-a-plenty are all part of these communal gardens in the heart of Clifton


Built on the former site of Maple Leaf Coaches in 1981, forty-three homes were developed as accommodation for those aged sixty and over.

From its conception and apart from lawns and trees maintained by a management company, the gardens at Maple Leaf Court have been developed and nurtured by a number of successive, enthusiastic and dedicated residents living here.

However, nine years ago, two residents, both in their 70’s, decided to enhance a sunken, sloping and neglected part of the garden to the rear of the site. Heavily overgrown with ivy, brambles, an invasive Hypericum, a huge amount of builders’ rubble, dark and wet, this was no place for geraniums!

Originally, a minimalistic Japanese Zen garden was planned with raked gravel and one or two strategically placed stones and oriental trees. However, this area is beneath a canopy of neighbouring, fully matured beech, aspen, rowan and conifer trees, making the maintenance of an immaculate Zen garden, impossible. Nevertheless, the shade and protection from the wind is the preferred environment for oriental acer trees.

After months of digging sand into the clay at the top of the slope, and gravel as drainage into the bog at the lower ground, marsh irises and two oriental acer trees were planted. The Japanese theme was now in place. The building of the small, Japanese tea house, the bridge and fencing followed, the whole project being quite a challenge for two somewhat elderly people!

This little space is now filled with ferns, grasses, azaleas, camellias, hostas, bamboo and acer trees. An oasis of calm in the bustling residential area of Clifton.

A lovely place for an early morning cup of coffee and a croissant.

Sylvia Supple

Click images for a larger view

Contact details:


Web manager: Lynne McAleavey

Haiku of Basho Matsuo, the first great poet of Japanese haiku in the 1600s:

An old silent pond...

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.

Matsuo Bashō