The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 10. Ornamental Water

Duck ponds

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DUCK PONDS. A indispensable attraction of most modern parks and spacious gardens in Japan is the decoy duck-pond, used for the sport of netting wild fowl,�a recreation of the nobility and gentry, and one often enjoyed in the very centre of the most populous cities. As a decorative feature of the grounds it is unimportant, presenting from the garden side the appearance of an extensive mound crowned with thickly planted trees, and surrounded by wide sanded or turfed walks and spinnies for purposes of isolation; but a notice of Japanese landscape gardening might be thought incomplete without some brief mention of the arrangement followed. An oval or circular pond is constructed, surrounded with high irregular slopes, thickly planted with wild bushes and leafy trees contrived to look as natural as possible. This pond is provided with numerous bent inlets, having steep sides and raised turf-covered banks, additionally screened at their extremities by mounds on the garden side. These grassy mounds support little sheds or arbours with peep-holes and shoots for grain, carefully hidden from the pond by bushes. The wild fowl, which are attracted to these ponds by means of tame decoys during the winter months, are allured by baiting into the inlets, and the sportsmen who approach stealthily from the sides net them with hand nets as they fly upwards to escape.