The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Japanese gardening

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782. The gardens of the Islands of Japan, according to Kï¾µmpfer, display little of taste in design, but are full of the finest flowers and fruits. 'Such,' he says, 'is the beauty of the flowers which ornament the hills, the fields, and the forests, that the country may even be preferred in this respect to Persia. The Japanese transplant the most beautiful of their wild flowers into the gardens, where they improve them by culture. Colours are the grand beauties desired both in plants and trees. Chestnut-trees, lemons, oranges, citrons and peaches, apricots and plums, abound. The sloe, or wild plum, is cultivated on account of its flowers, which, by culture, acquire the size of a double rose, and are so abundant that they cover the whole tree with a snowy surface speckled with blood red. These trees are the finest of their ornaments: they are planted, in preference, around their temples; and they are also cultivated in pots or boxes for private houses, as oranges are in Europe. They plant the summits of the mountains and both sides of the public roads with long rows of fir trees and cypress, which are common in the country. They even ornament sandy places and deserts by plantations; and there exists a law in this island, that no one can cut down a tree without permission of the magistrate of the place; and, even when he obtains permission, must replace it immediately by another.'