| Chinese Gardens (1938):
With patient care the Chinese dwarfed
their pines, twisting the branches grotesquely. A tree hoary
enough to be a veteran of the forest remains a miniature, growing in a
celadon bowl. The process of stunting is a secret [sic], but it is known that alcohol [sic] is
used. The branches are wired into tortuous positions and finally,
when the growth is fixed, the wires are removed. The needles are
clipped by men who have made a protracted study of this art. It
may take a day to thin the needles of a dwarfed evergreen, or a
week. The appearance of age is always emphasized, suggesting that
the tree has been distorted by tempests.
1 Graham, Dorothy Chinese
Gardens, Gardens of the Contemporary Scene; An Account of their design and symbolism
(New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1938. From Section VI Ming,
Chapter II The Ming Cult of Flowers. There may be other
mentions in this book which RJB briefly had a chance to look at.
This is the only reference I have seen to alcohol being an ingrediant
in the dwarfing process (other than the gardener imbibing before/while
shaping). The needle thinning timeframe is consistent with modern
accounts. Who was the Tokyo industrialist? Is the Tree of Fragrance Serissa foetida, the Tree of a Thousand Stars?
This is said by Craig Clunas in "Nature and Ideology in Western Descriptions of the Chinese Garden,"
pg. 32, to be the very first book on the subject in English.
Is the author the same as Dorothy Graham Edson,
or possibly a relative? Per www.amazon.com, other books by "Dorothy Graham" include Through the moon door, the experience
of an American resident in Peking (1926), Lotus of the dusk: a Romance of China (1927), Brush strokes on the fan of
a courtesan: Verse fragments in the manner of the Chinese (1927), Candles in the sun: A satire in pastels (1930), and
The China venture: a novel (1931).