ENVIRONMENT

Garden that man started for his blind wife becomes village tourist spot

Located in Shintomicho, Miyazaki, Japan, this private residence with a 2,000 sqm moss phlox garden is now a tourist attraction open to the public from the end of March until end of April annually. This garden was grown because of a husband’s love for his wife.

Yasuko and Toshiyuki Kuroki, married since 1956, raised their two children by running a dairy farm with 60 heads of cattle. Through farming, they also saved for their retirement plan, which was to travel around Japan. By their 30th anniversary, Yasuko started to have eye problems. Unfortunately, a week after consulting an optometrist, she totally lost her sense of sight due to diabetes.

Yasuko refused to leave their home ever since she lost her sight. In their garden, Toshiyuki noticed moss phlox flowers starting to bloom. He planted them everyday until ten years later, it has grown all over their garden. Even though Yasuko could not see the flowers, she could smell them.

Toshiyuki hoped that opening the garden to the public would entice people to visit and interact with his wife. When this happened, Yasuko, who was disheartened by her loss of vision, started to smile again. Over 7,000 tourists come to visit their garden every year. This garden is proof that anything can grow and bloom with love.

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