The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 12. Garden Composition

Site survey and examination

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Before proceeding with the garden construction, a complete survey and thorough examination of the site and of its surroundings are required. Its size, peculiarities of shape, levels, and drainage must be all considered. If the area be a bare and level one, the designer has considerable license, provided that he keeps in mind the aspect, neighbouring prospects, and the character of garden best calculated to suit his client. Guided by these limitations, he will consult his sketches, and perhaps make frequent visits to existing gardens, to assist him in originating a design. This he will subject to thorough reconsideration in every detail. If, however, the locality selected possesses certain natural facilities, such as fine clumps of trees, natural hills, a stream, or a cascade, the artist's controlling motive will be to work these features cleverly into his design. In the same way, a neighbouring view may be skilfully taken advantage of, the garden being so arranged that it appears, when regarded from the foreground, as a part of the general composition.