Water is one of the most enlivening features of the landscape, and deserves a prominent position in the list of rural embellishments. It possesses an attraction that is always pleasing, and gives a variety that seems essential in ornamental grounds. It is, however, not accessible to all, and some of our most highly finished places are without so attractive a feature. But there are many places on which can easily be created all that is necessary to produce an effective display of water; and, where it can be had at a reasonable cost, the opportunity should be embraced. We do not favor stagnant pools without life, that evaporate or dry up in the summer's sun, or breed noxious insects and miasmas, but want the bright sparkling water whose motion never ceases - a lake into which, and from which, is always running a living stream. To treat water, as an addition to ornamental grounds, in a successful manner, is no ordinary achievement, but one that requires careful study and an intimate knowledge of natural forms. The outline of an artificial lake is by no means an easy matter to prepare; yet, in many instances, on irregular ground, any disturbance of the natural formation would be a serious mistake.

A natural surface, that presents an irregular outline when flooded, is the most preferable, as it is desirable to avoid symmetrical forms; the varying heights of banks, the bold projections, the bays and lesser indentations, all go to make up a varied charm, which no regular figures could present.

A valley through which runs a living stream is the most natural, and perhaps the most proper place to make a lake. It would, in all probability, be below the level of the house, and occupy a position best suited to its easy construction and permanence. The dam or head made to raise the water should be so managed as to remove all appearance of art, and seem to be, as far as possible, a natural shore of the lake; this can be effected by making it of suitable width and planting it. The construction would consist then in the removal from the bottom of the lake of all vegetable matter, turf, and loam, that no decomposition take place: the formation of the shore line, by making it to resemble a natural shore, having projecting headlands and retreating bays, or of an irregular winding form, so managed and planted, that at no point is the whole sheet of water brought into one view.

The preparation of the bottom would then be an important consideration; and where one desires to study economy, there always is the opportunity to attain just € the same results at a low cost. We think the use of masonry for the purpose of making a pood tight is altogether a mistake; it is sometimes valuable as making a secure and durable dam, but not necessary to extend it around the entire shore line. It presents an unnatural and formal appearance if exposed, and is always such an item of expense as to induce one to sacrifice extent and variety for the purpose of keeping within a limit of cost. Small ponds are almost always seen at a single view, and generally appear better if treated in a formal manner. Nature rarely executes her works on a small scale, and if imitated thus, it can not be with any satisfactory result.

The operation of puddling with clay or stiff loam, or other earth of a tenacious character, is generally sufficient to make a pond tight, even if resting on a gravelly or sandy strata, the manner of doing which is by thoroughly mixing and kneading the earth with water until it becomes impervious. Sand and gravel may sometimes be mixed with it to good advantage; this, if put on from two to six inches in thickness, will, as a general rule, be all that is required to prevent leakage from any pressure of water. The sediment that is being constantly deposited would in time check the slow filtration of water into the earth, even if puddling were not resorted to; puddled earth should not be allowed to dry.

Ponds constructed in this manner can be easily and cheaply made, and their beauty and attractiveness be of a high order; the shore line will admit of all the variety of treatment consistent with natural examples; the finely kept lawn may run to the water; next the bold wooded point; then the sloping bank, etc., a natural variety scarcely admissible in a walled pond.

An ornamental pond, through which a living stream is flowing, is a source of profit, from the deposit that is brought to it; the wash of uplands, dead leaves, silt, etc., that annually accumulates, pays a handsome interest on a judicious invest ment; it forms a valuable addition to the fertilizers, and one not easily spared when its value is known. Those who have collected the wash of running brooks may be able to estimate what is annually lost by neglect to save the finely pulverized particles held in solution, and which would deposit themselves in the still waters of an ornamental lake - a silver sheet of water that gives life and variety to the landscape, and at the same time contributing to a useful and important purpose.