The Garden Guide

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

The marginal banks of water in nature

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1524. The marginal banks of water in nature are tame or bold, gravelly or sedgy, stony or rocky, according to the character of the surrounding ground. Art, therefore, must imitate each in its proper place, not always by a studious picturesque arrangement of the marginal accompaniments in each case, but by excavating the ground-work, planting the trees and shrubs, and leaving the rest to the motion of the waves of the water. After the effects of one winter, stones or gravel may be deposited in spots suitable for stony or gravelly shores; but to enter into this, and many other circumstances in the imitation of lakes, would exceed our present limits. We add two cautions: the first is, in all cases of the beautiful picturesque, so to arrange, by puddling and under-draining, that a marshy appearance may not surround the lake; and that rushes, and such aquatic plants, may not extend farther than a few feet or yards from the margin of the water. The other respects islands, which are the greatest ornaments to lakes when properly disposed; but an island which is placed in the centre, or in any situation where it does not connect with other islands, or with the shore, so as to form part of a prominence or recess, is injurious to the effect of the whole.