Reservoirs in landscape design
From the most ancient times, water was very important for people, as the source of all life on earth. Already in ancient times, people used artificial reservoirs for irrigation of gardens and plantings. This is what we are told about by archaeological excavations, documents, paintings and ornaments that have been preserved since then. Artificial reservoirs were used at that time as a reservoir for water and a place for breeding fish and waterfowl.
The first gardens appeared with the emergence of religions, when religious buildings began to surround gardens characteristic of those times of planning. Artificial ponds complemented such gardens. At the initial stages of the development of civilization, rich people were engaged in gardening, who could use slaves or hired labor to build large, luxurious gardens, and then it became accessible to everyone. During the construction of gardens, artificial ponds with their streams, cascades, fountains and waterfalls became a permanent architectural element. They brought comfort and harmony into the landscape.
The first mentions of the gardens date back to the times of Egypt of the 4th – 3rd millennium BC. Then the Egyptians began to plant fruit trees in smooth rows around the reservoir, which was a repository of water and a place for swimming. In the richer houses of such reservoirs there were several pieces, they were bred fish, poultry, medicinal water lily and the sacred lotus.
Very expensive water in Islamic countries. There, an artificial reservoir in the garden, filled with life-giving moisture, not only saved it from the heat, but was also a symbol of wealth and power. Usually, the artificial pond had the correct shape and was located in the center of the garden or at the intersection of paths, symbolizing stability.
A decorative pond, having a rectangular or octagonal shape, was laid out with mosaic or tile of blue color. The sky, reflecting on its surface, gave the water blue, and the water – depth and beauty. Most often, these reservoirs were filled with water diverted from the rivers, and also used melt water from the mountains.
The Roman Empire also followed fashion for some time — the houses had small courtyards in which trees were planted around a small pool. In the floor of these courtyards were arranged small ponds, which were filled with rainwater, that the glass from the roof down the drain. Water from this reservoir got into the cistern, which was under the floor of the building, and then this water was used for household needs.
During the Middle Ages, gardening was experiencing a difficult period. At that time, the gardens were tangled labyrinths designed to create the illusion of a long walk within a small area.
Everything changed during the Renaissance, which lifted many prohibitions and changed the way of life of a person. It was in those days that the gardens became spacious and the custom appeared to decorate them with architectural forms or using natural forms. For example, in Italy, the gardens had a terraced arrangement, and these terraces were connected to each other by beautiful staircases, or were separated by sheared greenery, and also decorated with statues and grottoes. And the relief of this country is such that it was possible to decorate the gardens by diverting water from mountain rivers and arranging waterfalls, cascades and streams, which required minimal intervention in the future. From now on, artificial reservoirs take their place in landscape design.
In the 17th century, France became the trendsetter of garden fashion. In contrast to Italy, where the main elements, due to the natural relief, were located vertically, the relief of the French lowlands required, on the contrary, horizontal planning. The basic principle of the French park is a symmetrical arrangement of the elements along the main axis – the main park alley. Flat artificial reservoirs are in harmony with the flower beds, all the elements seem to be tightened to the main alley, and then – to the central element of the entire park – the palace. In such gardens there were walls of sheared greenery and statues installed in niches, flat vertical reservoirs decorated with plants in tubs and sculptures. Such gardens have appeared in many European cities.
The idea of a landscape park with its natural outlines was unfashionable for a long time – it was thought that natural landscapes were too banal, but later a landscape park with a natural layout supplanted frilly French.
As you can see, the artificial pond all the time the development of gardening was present in the layout of the park or garden, being a source of water for plants and at the same time becoming an important element of landscape design over time.