A simple jet issuing from a circular basin of water, or a cluster of perpendicular jets (candelabra jets), is at once the simplest and most pleasing of fountains. Such are almost the only kinds of fountains which can be introduced with propriety in simple scenes where the predominant objects are sylvan, not architectural.
Weeping, or Tazza fountains, as they are called, are simple and highly pleasing objects, which require only a very moderate supply of water compared with that demanded by a constant and powerful jet. The conduit pipe rises through and fills the vase, which is so formed as to overflow round its entire margin. The ordinary jet and the tazza fountain may be combined in one, when the supply of water is sufficient, by carrying the conduit pipe to the level of the top of the vase, from which the water rises perpendicularly, then falls back into the vase and overflows as before.
A species of rustic fountain which has a good effect, is made by introducing the conduit pipe or pipes among the groups of rockwork alluded to, from whence (the orifice of the pipe being concealed or disguised) the water issues among the rocks either in the form of a cascade, a weeping fountain, or a perpendicular jet. A little basin of water is formed at the foot or in the midst of the rockwork; and the cool moist atmosphere afforded by the trickling streams, would offer a most congenial site for aquatic plants, ferns, and mosses.
Fountains of a highly artificial character are happily situated only when they are placed in the neighborhood of buildings and architectural forms. When only a single fountain can be maintained in a residence, the center of the flower-garden, or the neighborhood of the piazza or terrace-walk, is, we think, much the most appropriate situation for it. There the liquid element, dancing and sparkling in the sunshine, is an agreeable feature in the scene, as viewed from the windows of the rooms; and the falling watery spray diffusing coolness around is no less delightful in the surrounding stillness of a summer evening.
After all that we have said respecting architectural and rustic decorations of the grounds, we must admit that it requires a great deal of good taste and judgment, to introduce and distribute them so as to be in good keeping with the scenery of country residences. A country residence, where the house with a few tasteful groups of flowers and shrubs, and a pretty lawn, with clusters and groups of luxuriant trees, are all in high keeping and evincing high order, is far more beautiful and pleasing than the same place, or even one of much larger extent, where a profusion of statues, vases, and fountains, or rockwork and rustic seats, are distributed throughout the garden and grounds, while the latter, in themselves, show slovenly keeping, and a crude and meagre knowledge of design in Landscape Gardening.
Unity of expression is the maxim and guide in this department of the art, as in every other. Decorations can never be introduced with good effect, when they are at variance with the character of surrounding objects. A beautiful and highly architectural villa may, with the greatest propriety, receive the decorative accompaniments of elegant vases, sundials, or statues, should the proprietor choose to display his wealth and taste in this manner; but these decorations would be totally misapplied in the case of a plain square edifice, evincing no architectural style in itself.
In addition to this, there is great danger that a mere lover of fine vases may run into the error of assembling these objects indiscriminately in different parts of his grounds, where they have really no place, but interfere with the quiet character of surrounding nature. He may overload the grounds with an unmeaning distribution of sculpturesque or artificial forms, instead of working up those parts where art predominates in such a manner, by means of appropriate decorations, as to heighten by contrast the beauty of the whole adjacent landscape.
With regard to pavilions, summer-houses, rustic seats, and garden edifices of like character, they should, if possible, in all cases be introduced where they are manifestly appropriate or in harmony with the scene. Thus a grotto should not be formed in the side of an open bank, but in a deep shadowy recess; a classic temple or pavilion may crown a beautiful and prominent knoll, and a rustic covered seat may occupy a secluded, quiet portion of the grounds, where undisturbed meditation may be enjoyed. As our favorite Delille says:
"Sachez ce qui convient ou nuit au caractere. Un reduit ecarte, dans un lieu solitaire, Peint mieux la solitude encore et l'abandon. Montrez-vous done fidele a. chaque expression; N'allez pas au grand jour offrir un ermitage: Ne cachez point un temple au fond d'un bois sauvage".
Or if certain objects are unavoidably placed in situations of inimical expression, the artist should labor to alter the character of the locality. How much this can be done by the proper choice of trees and shrubs, and the proper arrangement of plantations, those who have seen the difference in aspect or certain favorite localities of wild nature, as covered with wood, or as denuded by the axe, can well judge. And we hope the amateur, who has made himself familiar with the habits and peculiar expressions of different trees, as pointed out in this work, will not find himself at a loss to effect such changes, by the aid of time, with ease and facility.