| "Japanese Dwarf
MR. D. G. MITCHELL, once writing of these,
well said: "Japanese trees seem under the wings of Japanese buildings,
quaint pygmies not 3 feet high, are yet over seventy years old. They
are gnarled and twisted, as if they had fought the the [sic]
winds and caught their picturesqueness of form -- as old Oaks catch theirs
-- by battling with tempests and wintry storms upon the hills. By
examining closely the specimens in Japanese grounds one may see traces
of the dwarfing process. The leading shoots have been clipped or
bent downward; the lateral branches turned in and tied back; lusty limbs
twisted and wrenched into quaint postures; marks of the torturing pins
and bands and cuts are still observable; it is a crippled dwarf of a tree
made quaint and picturesque by years of struggle. Is there a compensating
beauty in them? Not surely as we reckon the beauty of plant growth.
But consider that the Japanese, in their horticultural system, have offices
for such dwarf trees. With them no homestead is complete without
its garden; a few square rods may be all at command, but this area must
have its garden treatment, and the gardens are modeled after nature.
'San sui' (mountain and water) is the term which in Japanese describes
the cultivator's work. The aim is -- within however a limited an
area -- top present a complete landscape, with rock, valley, plain, water,
and mountain. Under such miniature presentment trees and plants must
be dwarfed to bear proper relations to the dwarfed valleys and rocks.
To such an extent is this copying of nature in miniature carried out that
a rocky landscape, with its heights and level spaces and trees, is wrought
out, with close attention to proportions within the limits of a great bronze
basin. We doubt if cultivators of the West will emulate them in their
mimicry of Nature; but they may well emulate the painstaking skill which
makes such small successes possible, and the assiduous care and the close
study of plant life which are enforced by such arts."
THE DOUBLE-FLOWERING PLUM (SHIDARE-
UME) AS GROWN BY THE JAPANESE
DWARF CHERRY TREES IN JAPAN.
1 Scientific American Supplement, No. 1275. Vol. 49, June 9, 1900, pg. 20442.
Compare the above illustration with what was apparently the original found in Piggott's 1892 book.