Wabi stands for a humble beauty, the look of objects showing the signs of wear and patina.
Wabi can express a sense of melancholy, of sobriety and spareness.
But by stripping away the more obvious trappings of beauty, wabi also exposes the fundamental vitality hidden in natural materials.
Major Robert Fuller and his architect Sir Harold Brakspear seem to have had a very similar ideal in mind when they restored Great Chalfield in the late nineteenth century.
And today Patsy Floyd maintains the garden in the same spirit, with flowers emerging from between flagstones and lush greenery contrasting with lichen-covered stonework.
It would be interesting to find out if Japanese visitors experience Great Chalfield in this way, or whether they see it as exotically ‘English’.