The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 3. Garden Lanterns

Composition of garden lanterns

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Garden Lanterns are used singly in combination with rocks, shrubs, trees, fences, and water-basins. It is an imperative rule that they should harmonise in scale and character with the adjacent buildings and with the magnitude and elaboration of the garden. The usual positions selected are:�at the base of a hill, on an island, on the banks of a lake, near a well, and at the side of a water-basin. The primary intention of introducing such lanterns into landscape gardening is not to illuminate the grounds, but to form architectural ornaments contrasting agreeably with the natural features. In ordinary grounds they are only occasionally seen lighted at night, and even when thus used the object seems rather to produce a dim and mysterious glow, than to render objects distinctly visible; to obscure the light still more, leafy shrubs and trees are always planted close by. The idea of placing them on the border of a lake or stream is that their reddish light may be reflected in the water. The important place which stone Standard Lanterns take in even the simplest designs may be gathered from Fig. 13, representing a small garden belonging to the Zuiun-In, attached to the temple of Mioshinji in Kioto.