"Japanese Gardening" from Garden and Forest


       "The habit of clipping and shearing trees and shrubs is a common one in Japan, but it is seldom done in a manner inconsistent with the general character of the particular trees thus dressed."  What the gardener aims at, is to accentuate, not controvert, the design which nature had in forming a particular tree.  The Pine, for example, "goes through a thorough surgical treatment in the nursery, with the idea of producing a shape of acknowledged beauty, as displayed in some of the finest natural trees.  Its branches are bent, broken and bandaged, and bound with cords and splints, until it grows into the fancy shape desired."  This shape is rarely at variance with forms that can be found in nature; yet dwarf trees are sometimes trained into curious, non-natural forms, the branches of the favorite Pine are occasionally cut into the form of balls and trained to grow in a pendant way, suggestive of a cascade, and now and then one may even see a shrub cut into the shape of a junk under full sail.  But fantasies like these, we gather, are executed on a small scale and not placed where they would disfigure a landscape effect... 1


1    "Japanese Gardening” by M. G. van Rensselaer, New York, Garden and Forest, February 6, 1889, pp. 63-64.   The longer article (10 paragraphs) is a review of Mr. Conder's article in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan.

See a tree in the shape of a junk in Wonder Book.

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