The Garden Guide

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

Wide cascades and high waterfalls

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It is laid down as a rule that waterfalls of great width should not be employed for the principal Cascade of a garden, but a low and wide fall may be introduced as subsidiary to the main one, which is high and narrow in proportion. The two together form a pair, the principal fall being considered male, and the secondary one female. Even for the lower fall a width greater than two feet is not recommended, for the reason that too great a size detracts from the scale of the artificial lake adjoining. Fine natural Cascades abound all over Japan, but, on the principle of following classical models, it is customary, in a elaborate garden, to represent a famous waterfall in the South of China known to the Japanese as Rozan. Close to this Chinese lagoon is a high mountain called Riumon, the subject of frequent poetical allusions; for this reason custom prescribes the introduction of a high mound or hillock opposite to a Garden Cascade. In temple grounds the priests delight to associate such water scenery with a noted landscape in the Himalayas, renowned in Buddhist lore for its cataract, lake, and four rivers issuing therefrom. Fig. 30 represents an ideal scene of this character reproduced in the garden of the Temple called Kotokuji, at Kioto.