Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: Our main phone line is temporarily out of service. Please call 215.247.5778 in the interim.


Gardens

Japanese Hill and Water Garden


Built in 1905 by Mr. Muto, this Hill Garden or Tsukiyama-niwa was made from soil dug out of the Swan Pond. Hills, rocks, water, trees, bridges, paths, shrines and lanterns were arranged according to certain rules of Tsukiyama-niwa to create an image of nature. Each element has a symbolic meaning and their arrangement suggests a more expansive, natural landscape. Many of these original specimens have matured and provide a tranquil space within the Arboretum. Japanese Gardens, and Asian features in general, were placed throughout the garden between 1889 and 1912. In 1913, The Philadelphia Ledger wrote about the Asian aspects of the Morrises’ garden as, “…an object lesson in the adaptation of foreign ideas to American conditions.” The Morrises had one of the first American gardens to adopt the Victorian style of borrowing ideas from other cultures, particularly exotic features.

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