The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: Compositional Elements of Landscape Gardening

Beautiful lakes

Previous - Next

1522. A beautiful lake, or part of a circuitous body of water, considered as a whole, will be found to exhibit a form characterised by breadth rather than length; by that degree of regularity in its outline as a whole, which confers what, in common language, is called shape; and by that irregularity in the parts of this outline, which produces variety and intricacy. Supposing the situation to be fixed on for the imitation of a lake, the artist is to consider the broadest and most circuitous hollow as his principal mass or breadth of water, which he must extend or diminish according to the extent of aquatic views the place may require. From this he may continue a chain of connected masses of water, or lakes of different magnitudes and shapes, in part suggested by the character of the ground, in part by the facilities of planting near them, and in part by his own views of propriety and beauty. The outline of the plan of the lake is to be varied by the contrasted position of bays, inlets, and smaller indentations, on the same principles which we have suggested for varying a mass of wood. To the irregularity of outlines so produced, islands and islets may be added, on the same principle and for the same objects as thickets and groups. This will complete the character and beauty of the plan of the water.