Home > Building a Pond > Famous Garden Ponds and Visitor Attractions

Famous Garden Ponds and Visitor Attractions

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 1 Jun 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Attractions Pond Hotels Water Tourism

While there’s nothing quite like having your own garden pond, a visit to some of the water features to be found in various visitor attractions around the world can prove one of the best sources of inspiration. Whether you’re on holiday in the area, or set out quite deliberately to visit a specific attraction, there is no shortage of places for the pond-enthusiast to visit – and many offer the chance to do a little aquatic-themed shopping too. Although some attractions have gone out of their way to appeal to mass-tourism, there are many others which have adopted a distinctly more low-key approach, so whatever your taste in watery visitor attractions, there is bound to be something to appeal. With some of the world’s best hotels boasting impressive water gardens, often you don’t have to go too far to see some impressive sights, but when it comes to famous ponds, there are some which really stand out.

Jishoji (The Silver Pavilion), Kyoto

Sometimes referred to as Ginkakuji, Kyoto’s Silver Pavilion was originally built in the 15th Century as a retirement house, before subsequently becoming a Zen Buddhist temple. The Pavilion’s grounds which chiefly comprise an informal Zen garden with later raked gravel features dating from the 17th Century also hold a real pond-lover’s treasure – and one of the most famous water gardens in all of Japan. The Jishoji pond garden was modelled on a similar feature at Kyoto’s much older Sahoji temple and even for a country so pond-centred in its approach to gardens and landscaping, it is a true jewel, making it a definite must-see on any visiting water-gardener’s itinerary.

Balboa Park, San Diego

Adjacent to San Diego’s world-class zoo, Balboa Park is home to an incredibly beautiful and varied selection of ponds, fountains and water gardens. Nestling comfortably alongside the attraction’s huge array of themed-spaces – including the likes of the Alcazar, the Japanese Friendship, Marston House and the Rose gardens – water is constant theme in this Californian tourist hot-spot.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Britain’s famous Kew Gardens is home to three major water features – the Lake, the Palm House Pond and the Water Lily Pond.

The majesty of the Palm House Pond has inspired numerous artists and photographers over the years – perhaps most notably Camille Pissaro who featured it in a painting in the early 1890s. In contrast with this more structured environment the smaller Water Lily Pond situated alongside the Woodland Glade offers a more natural setting dominated by lilies and irises throughout the summer. However, the Lake holds perhaps the most for the visiting enthusiast. It was the second artificial body of water to be built at Kew – the remnant of the first today forming the Palm House Pond. Extending to some five acres, the Lake was designed by the famous landscape gardener “Capability” Brown shortly prior to 1850, but one of the most interesting aspects of this visitor attraction is the way it has remained contemporary and relevant. In 2006, the “Sackler Crossing” was inaugurated on the site. Designed by architect John Pawson, the dark granite blocks and bronze balustrades offer a unique spectacle to challenge the perception of the viewer, while echoing the natural curves of the lake itself.

Monet’s Water Garden, Giverny, Normandy

It is hard to think of any water feature more universally-known than the lily-ponds immortalised by the great impressionist painter, Claude Monet. Moving to Giverny from Paris in 1883, Monet deliberately set out to create a garden in which nature seemed to run wild and the landscape was lush and verdant. Ten years later, he bought the property across the road and began work on the water garden which was ultimately to become the inspiration for the series of water-lily paintings he produced between 1901 and 1925. Although the gardens fell into neglect following the Second World War, after more than twenty years restoration, today’s visitors can enjoy the heavily Japanese-inspired lily-pond looking much the same as it did in Monet’s day.

For the avid water-gardener, the chance to look around visitor attractions of this kind has an obvious appeal and can often provide the germ of an idea for the next pond project back home. While it may not often be possible to recreate the full grandeur of some of the world’s most famous and impressive water gardens, they have certainly inspired more than a few garden pond features – although usually on a rather smaller scale!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Colin Pearce
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    P.S. 2 ponds have been established for 20 years no problems before and 1 pond 12 month old
    23 June 2017
  • Colin Pearce
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    my 2 brothers and I have ponds and this last week we have all had fish loss. Ponds in various locations,…
    23 June 2017
  • PondExpert
    Re: Plants for a Small Garden Pond
    Mogot - Your Question:I would like to know best anti algie to put in my pond thank youOur Response:
    22 June 2017
  • PondExpert
    Re: Repairing Your Pond
    AllotmentPond - Your Question:Hi. you say "while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics.…
    21 June 2017
  • PondExpert
    Re: Repairing Your Pond
    Kab - Your Question:I have inherited a brick built fish pond in my front garden, complete with fish. It is about 20ft long x 9ft at the widest…
    21 June 2017
  • Mogot
    Re: Plants for a Small Garden Pond
    I would like to know best anti algie to put in my pond thank you
    20 June 2017
  • AllotmentPond
    Re: Repairing Your Pond
    Hi ... you say "while polyester or polyethylene versions are available for those made of HDPE and other plastics. These kits contain all the…
    19 June 2017
  • Kab
    Re: Repairing Your Pond
    I have inherited a brick built fish pond in my front garden, complete with fish. It is about 20ft long x 9ft at the widest point (it is a…
    19 June 2017
  • shaken45
    Re: Why Is My Pond Green and Frothy?
    We have a new 100 gallon deck pond which has been running for about 3 weeks. I have 1 arum lily in it and a couple of growing…
    26 May 2017
  • Ruth
    Re: Dealing with Green Pond Water
    I've inherited a small garden pond which has plenty of frog activity. It's recently become a bit overrun with algae so I have…
    22 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the PondExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.