Water Elements: Important in any Japanese Landscapes

No Japanese garden is whole without a water element. You will often see Japanese water fountains in the doorway of a temple or home due to the fact that they are thought to be symbolic of physical and spiritual cleansing. Since water is the most important element of any Japanese fountain, the design is usually simple.

You will also see many fountains that have spouts built of bamboo. p-175__39181.jpg Under the bamboo spout is generally a stone basin which receives the water as it trickles down from the spout. People generally make them appear weathered and worn, even when they are new. People want their fountain to seem as natural as possible, so they position plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. Clearly this fountain is much more than just a nice add-on.

For something a bit more unique, start with a bed of gravel, add a stone fountain, and then decorate it imaginatively with live bamboo and other natural elements. In time, as moss gradually covers the rocks, it starts to look even more natural-looking.

Anyone who has an extensive spot to work with can, of course, install a much bigger water feature. Popular water feature enhancements are a koi pond or any sort of small pool, or even a meandering brook.

Water, however, does not have to be used in a Japanese fountain. Other alternatives include stones, gravel, or sand to symbolize water. In addition, flat stones can be laid out close enough together to give the impression of a babbling brook.

Tips for Your Ideal Spot Inside or Outdoors

One easy way to create a peaceful and serene area is to put in a feng shui fountain. The best plan is to put in a garden or home waterfall. The best addition to your decor is this type of element. Be sure to place your outdoor fountain so that it is noticeable from inside in order to get the most out of it.

The most gorgeous water fountains include flowers and plants. Plants and flowers that come into bloom in different seasons make the ideal accompaniment.

The area will be further enhanced with small touches like art, a fire pit, or interesting stones.

The Brilliance of Michelangelo’s Roman Wall Fountains

Two Florentine masters by the names of Michelangelo and Ammannati designed the oldest Roman wall fountains during the 16th century. The first fountain Michelangelo designed came in 1536 with the building of the Campidoglio in Rome which was to make part of the Palazzo Senatorio's façade. The building of a conduit from the Aqua Felice to the Capitol, which allowed for a more impressive water display, was included years later. Michelangelo, however, had expected this which led to choice of a larger basin styled on the forms of the late Cinquecento.

The question remains as to whether the celebrated sculptor was the earliest to build wall fountains. Italy’s fountains truly show the effect his designs had on the styles found there. The styles seen at the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Lante, Bagnaia 1, and the Fountain of the Mugnone, set between the stairway on the main axis of the Villa Pratolino, are other examples of this style.

It seemed to be Michelangelo’s destiny to combine classic Roman elements into his fountains instead of using his own considerable talents to design original pieces. A new fountain at the top of the Belvedere in the Vatican was authorized by Julius III (1550-1555) and it fell to the talented sculptor to design an archetypal structure. The fountain was to be adorned with a marble sculpture of Moses hitting a stone from which water flowed. Rather than building the Moses sculpture, which would take too much time to finish, an antique figure of Cleopatra was used in its place, however. Completing a new design by the renown sculptor was thought to be more complicated than placing an ancient figure above the fountain.


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