Natural look of Japanese-style gardening

Transcripts available in the following languages:

If you take the time to nurture their plants, then…like a lot of our gardeners right now they go in there…it’s…what’s it called? “Mow, edge, and blow?” You can’t do that. A lot of the shrubs and, like, azaleas, camellias, you hand-prune them to shape them. You don’t take a hasami (clipper), ch, ch,ch, you know. Because what you’re doing is you’re taking the natural look away from the plant where it doesn’t look like it was cut but it was a nice shape.

That’s just a technique I’ve learned from my father, a lot of the elder gardeners…it’s something that has to be taught to you to do it properly. You have to take the time and energy to apply your technique. If you don’t, you’re going to lose the whole concept of a natural garden.

Japanese gardeners take their time to make it look like it’s a natural form, not a clipped form. If you look at bonsai plants, they’re all hand-pruned. And there’s no hasami marks on it. They’re all individually pruned. So that’s a technique that has to be taught by somebody that knows what they’re doing and what they’re teaching.

Date: December 1, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Daniel Lee
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

bonsai gardeners gardening landscaping

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