The Garden Guide

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

Immovable Guardian Stone Shugo seki

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In accordance with the fancy for suggesting in limited areas natural scenery of extensive proportions, rules exist for veiling portions of a waterfall so as to assist in creating the illusion of a cataract of indefinite height. A tree should be placed so that its branches hide the outlet of the Cascade, which is also surrounded by thick foliage to give it a solitary and profound appearance. Elevated ground, suddenly interrupted, and presenting a vertical face of some hard material proof against speedy disintegration, being the essential of all natural waterfalls, it is necessary, in artificial landscapes, to comply with the same conditions. The earthen mounds behind the Garden Cascade have to be cut off to an almost vertical face, which is strengthened and adorned by means of high rocks forming the cliff over which the water pours. The principal rock amongst these, broad at the base, tapering above, and presenting a flat face in front, constitutes at the same time the most important stone of the whole garden, and receives the name of Shugo-seki, translateable as "Guardian Stone," or "Immoveable Stone." Generally paired with it is another rock, of lower and more rounded shape; in addition to which are various smaller stones, with names implying different functions in connection with the waterfall. These are all fully described under the head of Garden Stones.