"Dwarf Trees" from Walter Del Mar's
Around the World Through Japan

      Walter Del Mar (1862-1944), banker, broker, journalist and author was born in New York City.  He was the son of Alexander Del Mar, an engineer and author.  During the early 1890s, Del Mar was a financial correspondent in London.  Soon afterwards, he established his own banking firm, which became a London representative for important American interests.  In 1914, he returned to the United States and lived in New York until his death.  An author, Del Mar published books on his extensive travels, notably Around the World Through Japan."  A bachelor, he was sunrived by two sisters and three brothers. 1

      Around the World Through Japan (1903):

      "In the nursery-gardens on the Bluff [in Yokohama] we saw a great number of dwarf pines (hinoki; Thuga obtusa), firs (momi-no-ki), junipers, larches (tsuga; Larix leptolepsis), oaks, maples, hawthorns, cedars (sugi, Cryptomeria japonica), sakaki (Cleyera japonica), and kiri (Paulownia imperialis).  They are all perfectly developed, although only a few inches to a couple of feet in height, and the prices ranged from a shilling to 25, the most expensive being a pine-tree about fifteen inches high, said to be three hundred years old.  These trees are maintained in their dwarfed condition by growing them in small vases, by pruning the thin old roots in the spring, and by pinching back the young growths in the early summer.

      "To make an ordinary Japanese garden only requires a cart-load of rocks, a pail of water, a modicum of ingenuity, and unlimited imagination, all concentrated on a space the size of a mat.  To make a more perfect garden, a 'miniature paradise,' whose creation is considered 'half-necromancy,' add a dwarf pine-tree, tortured out of its natural shape with permanent bandages and bits of wood and string, or some which 'the patient gardeners have bent, interlaced, tied, weighted down, and propped up the limbs and twigs.'  Multiply these items by ten, and you have a landscape garden, which is 'a leafy, lake-centred paradise, and a marvel of artistic arrangement.'  Multiply by a hundred and you have a place of pilgrimage like the 'two model landscape [286] gardens of Japan,' at the Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji temples in Kyoto, which, in the opinion of enthusiasts, entitle the Japanese to be called 'the foremost landscape gardeners in the world'" 2


1       "Guide to the Walter Del Mar Papers," http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/rbk/faids/delmarw.pdf.

2       Del Mar, Walter   Around the World Through Japan (London: Adam and Charles Black; 1903), pp. 138 and 285.

   Other references to the Bluff include Scidmore and Unger.

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