The Garden Guide

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

Water in the ancient style

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1518. In the ancient style water forms a part of every garden in the various artificial characters which it there assumes of oblong canals, ponds, basins, cascades, and jets d'eau; and, in modern improvement, such is the value attached to its effect, that no place is deemed perfect without a river or lake; and such the indiscriminate desire of obtaining ornaments of this description, that nature has been too frequently disregarded in their form and situation. Of the characters which water assumed under the geometric style, we can only observe, that their names convey, in a great degree, an idea of the forms. Their situations were near the mansion; and their marginal accompaniments of masonry, turf walks, and hedges, were determined by the architectural forms and lines of the capital feature in the scene. The choice, from the most intricate and curious fountains to the plain oblong canal, depended on the splendour of the general design; very little on natural situation. The supply was generally obtained from some concealed reservoir.