The Garden Guide

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

Pond levels

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1521. Ponds on different levels, seen in the same view, are very objectionable on this principle. The little beauty they display as spots, ill compensates for the want of propriety; and the leading idea which they suggest, is a question between their present situation and their non-existence. The choice, therefore, as to the situation of water, must ever depend more on natural circumstances than proximity to the mansion. Is then all water to be excluded that is not in the lower grounds ? We have no hesitation in answering this question in the affirmative, so far as respects the principal views, and when a lower level than that in which the water is proposed to be placed is seen in the same view. But in respect to recluse scenes, which Addison compares to episodes to the general design, we would admit, and even copy the ponds on the sides or even tops of hills, which may be designated accidental beauties of nature. In confined spots they are often a very great ornament; as a proof of which, we have only to observe some of the suburban villas round the metropolis, where a small piece of water often comes in between the house and the public road with the happiest effect.