The Garden Guide

Book: Gardens of Japan, 1928,
Chapter: Garden Parts And Accessories

Japanese garden wells

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For mere decoration, or for practical uses as well, the well is an essential element in the garden, especially in one with a dry water course. Then it is often treated as the source of the stream in the garden. In the cha-no-yu garden it is a necessary element, counted as one of the seven objects requisite for a complete equipment. Some are provided with a framework for the wheel to hoist the buckets, while others have none. They are kept covered with bamboo mat. The coping may be of wood, but it is more appropriate to ordinary surroundings to be of stone and that in a half-finished condition: four slabs of more or less irregular natural shape fitted together, halved at the angles. One occasionally comes across an old well with a tree of fair size growing inside the moss-covered crib, giving an artistic touch to the garden. The well, grouped with a proper drain, rocks and trees, becomes a splendid ornament and helps to express the mood of the garden, and by some it is used to imply a sentiment of eternal life.