"Gardening at the World's Fair" from Garden and Forest

       "Gardening at the World's Fair" by M.C. Robbins (1893) includes these lines:  

       In front of the buildings, on the east side of the path which leads through the grounds, is an arrangement of mounds and tiny steps, with groupings of flat stones here and there, which reminds one of pictures of the gardens of Japan.  Umbrella-pines are here planted with other trees and shrubs of that country, and tiny winding paths lead down to the edge of the water, which gleams through the shrubbery upon the slopes.  There are none of those attempts at minute gardening, of which specimens are shown in the Horticultural Building, with queer little old distorted trees, and miniature bridges and lamps and imitation tea-houses…
       The picturesque dwarf trees of Japan interested me greatly.  One poor old Cypress, three hundred years old, perished with the winter, but there were some ancient crooked Maples, about a foot high, and a Pine tree with gnarled branches and massive roots that would have adorned a forest in Lilliput, for they must have been at least eighteen inches tall.  Every leaf had been carefully trained on the Maple, and the pine-needles were held imperceptibly in place to produce that fine cushiony effect that is so highly prized.  It seemed like looking at some venerable monarch of the forest through the reverse end of an opera-glass, so perfectly did the Lilliputian tree reproduce all the storm-wrought eccentricities of the great one. 1


1     Robbins, M.C.  "Gardening at the World's Fair," Garden and Forest, July 19, 1893, pp. 302, 303.

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