SHE came from the Land of the Rising Sun... and brought a ray of sunshine to a corner of Sheffield.
For the last four-and-a-half years people popping into the Japanese Garden in Meersbrook Park would have seen volunteer gardener Chieko Kasuya weeding, pruning, watering and sweeping, to ensure the place remained beautiful.
But now this Tokyo Rose has said sayonara to the city she grew to love, and to the garden she tended with devotion every Monday and Friday.
Chieko has flown home to Japan – and her friends at the garden gave her special send-off.
Naomi Brent, a fellow volunteer at the walled garden, said: “Chieko came to Sheffield with her husband who was sent to the city to work at a Sheffield branch of a Japanese company.
“We got to know her through volunteering at the garden and we became friends.
“Now she has gone back to Japan and we will all miss her so much.”
Naomi explained that Chieko’s favourite flowers are roses.
And that is how her friends in Sheffield will remember her.
Naomi said: “The Meersbrook Park Users’ Trust Volunteers decided to plant two new rose beds to make sure Chieko comes back to visit us!
“And a dozen new rose plants were bought at a local rose nursery with money raised at garden events from selling teas and homemade cakes.
“One of the rose beds will be called ‘Chieko’s Garden’ and a terracotta sign has been made by another volunteer to remind us.”
Chieko, aged 50, who lived in a city centre apartment in Millsands during her stay in Sheffield, chose old English- style shrub roses to be planted in the flower beds.
Naomi explained that by working together Chieko and her English friends had learned a little about each other’s cultures.
She said: “Chieko taught us how to look after a Japanese garden and she herself learned how to make a very good lemon drizzle cake, as well as helping with the well dressing made every June.”