The Garden Guide

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

Styles related to stone groupings

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In accordance with the principles of Japanese design previously explained, three distinct styles of elaboration are recognized for the above groupings, greater correctness of prescribed shape, and formality in method of combination, being followed in the gardens of more finished and detailed style. Especially is this noticeable when the stones are used in connection with trees and shrubs. As already mentioned, these radical shapes are generally taken as a guide in the selection of natural stones for gardens; and it is interesting to note that the use of certain other natural shapes is studiously avoided. Stones, for example, with their tops bent or distorted, are technically called "Diseased Stones," and rarely admitted into artifical landscape. Other prohibitory terms are applied to rocks improperly employed in compositions. For instance, stones of vertical character, laid horizontally and liable to create the impression of having been overturned, are named "Dead Stones"; stones scattered at random in a garden, without any special function or connection in the landscape, are described as " Poor Stones." It is next necessary to enumerate and describe the different garden stones according to the position they hold and the functions they fulfil in different parts of the composition.