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The popularity of Japanese gardens in Australia and New Zealand strongly reflects increasing interest in the unique horticultural arts of Japan. The best Japanese gardens are satisfying creations interpreting a great Oriental art in terms understandable to Occidentals.
They are not merely imitative, but are selective and adaptive. But, unfortunately, many of our Japanese gardens are poorly conceived and are travesties of the landscape art developed in Japan.
They appear to be designed on the assumption that all that is necessary are pagodas, stone lanterns, bamboo screens and fences, arched bridges, a pool with goldfish, and curiously shaped rocks, placed in an area that includes pines and other trees and shrubs contorted by pruning.
The first requirement of a Japanese garden is that it should closely integrate nature and .the house. It must serve as a link between the natural and the man made. The emphasis is on simplicity.