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Japanese gardens are enclosed, screened from the outside by plantings, fences or hills, but never so that these are obtrusive.
It is too much to expect that a Japanese garden designed by a Westerner, installed in Australia or New Zealand and built of plants and materials available here, will have the same meaning and emotional significance, the same historical and
religious associations, for a Japanese as the gardens of his homeland. It is quite possible, however, to create gardens based on the principles of design that the Japanese employ so effectively, gardens that are congruous with their surroundings, satisfying in their appeal, and not merely quaint or unusual. Japanese gardens in Australia and New Zealand should not be copies of gardens in Japan; they should be an expression of a Japanese art.
Before beginning a Japanese garden, look carefully at any made in your district or articles on this subject and study pictures of well-designed Japanese examples. So far as possible, the plants used should be native Japanese kinds, and the soil should be acid, at least slightly so. Few Japanese plants grow satisfactorily in alkaline soil. When selecting trees, remember that the Japanese like to see the trunks and branches. Careful pruning may improve a tree that is too symmetrical or too well clothed.