The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 2. Garden Stones

Masculine and feminine stones

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Another favourite conceit is that of attributing sex to stones of different form in landscape. Thus is created an important ï¾µsthetic aid in maintaining fitting contrasts in compositions. Rocks and stones are combined in pairs of contrast. Generally speaking lofty masses are regarded as masculine when placed in apposition to lower masses, which are classed as feminine. Some stones, in which the nature of both sexes is supposed to be united, are used singly. There are, however, many rocks, such as those placed on the banks of garden streams or lakes, as well the smaller stones employed merely in an auxiliary manner, to which the idea of sex is not applied.