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Studio: international art — 1.1893

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Artistic Gardens in Japan

charm, such as mosses and lichens, and the man-

ARTISTIC GARDENS IN JAPAN. BY a& and pos5tion of their growth For h is ;n

CHARLES HOLME. trie reproduction of these natural beauties that he
he most delightful feature will have to concern himself. What to select of
of the art of Japan lies the features that are the most suitable for his
in the fact that it is purpose, and how and in what manner he shall
applied to the every- adapt them to the surroundings of a house, is the
day wants of the art in which he has to perfect himself. To guide
individual—that it is him in this, many books have been published in
not a thing apart from Japan, in which designs are given both for large
the lives of its people, and small gardens, together with details of fences
Evidence of artistic and such ornamental adjuncts as have been found
thought may be found to be desirable or necessary. These books express
in all the surroundings the particular views of their writers as to many of
of the Japanese more the details to be observed, and although they
or less pronounced in occasionally vary in accordance with some pet
accordance with their tastes or occupations. Many minor theory of the author's, yet, in the main, the
visitors to Japan have been struck with the beauty same principles are inculcated in all. Foreign
of its gardens. Whether they be large, extending plants, with the exception, perhaps, of a few charac-
to many acres, or small, of the dimensions only of teristic ones from China, are not favoured by the
a few square yards, there is a notable refinement Japanese; for they do not look upon their gardens
in their arrangement, which the more it is inquired as places to collect and display a variety of botan-
into the more remarkable and interesting it be- ical specimens as in a nursery or arboretum ; their
comes. idea is that the
In all our researches in the art of Japan we are garden shall ap-
again and again struck with the fact that the pear as a picture,
Japanese are ardent admirers of nature; that not complete in it-
only do they borrow from nature all that is good self, each thing
in their art, but they look upon the beautiful or the being in har-
curious things of nature itself as objects almost of mony with the
veneration. The Japanese will treasure a piece of rest, and form-
curiously grained wood, a block or slab of stone ing, as it were, a
that may be in some way remarkable for its colour part of a whole,
or for the strange shape it has assumed under the The gardener in
action of water or weather, a remarkable piece of Japan is a sort
the bark of a tree, the hard woody fungoid excres- of landscape
cences that grow upon it, shells, corals—almost painter, who
anything of a natural character that tells some tale uses actual trees,
of quaint beauty. And of these objects they will rocks, and water,
perhaps fashion a panel, a vase to hold flowers, a instead of can-
tobacco box, or a button. It is this same venera- vas, paints, and
tion of nature's art that underlies much of their brushes. The
artistic work, and is the very foundation on picture he may
which rests the elaborate structure of their art of form may be in
gardening. imitation of
The would-be garden designer is told, first of all, some natural
that he must study nature; that
he must seek out beautiful scenes
of hill and valley, of stream and
waterfall, and carefully sketch
and take note of the most effec-
tive combinations of rocks, trees, 1"
and water, not forgetting to ob-
serve the smaller aids to natural —===^ - a chodzu-bachi
I. No. 4.—July, 1893.