D. Scott Schultz, Landscape Supervisor of China Pavilion at Epcot Center, Walt Disney World Co., Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Water gardening at Walt Disney World is a fairly new endeavor. Various water plants have been grown on the property but never to the extent afforded by the China Pavilion in Epcot Center. Two ponds were designed in the center of the landscape to capture the peace and beauty typical of a Chinese garden.
Pond Construction and Design
The two ponds are made of poured concrete four inches thick. Each one is forty-five feet wide and sixty feet long. They are separated by a twenty foot concrete walkway with three PVC pipes (6" diameter) connecting the two below water level. The height of the sides varies from two to three feet, maintaining a water level of eighteen inches. Limestone rocks two to six feet in diameter were used along the edges and in the center of the ponds to help soften the concrete edges and to give the ponds a detailed look. This jagged edge with its many nooks and crannies makes the pond seem larger. Making the small seem large is one of the principles of Chinese design.
Another principle of Chinese design is the use of sound. The garden is a reflective place with its stillness interrupted only by natural sounds, such as rustling leaves or trickling water. This effect is achieved by a small waterfall located at the end of the south pond. A mound of rocks three to four feet above pond elevation forms a pool. This simulated spring flows down a series of embankments for twenty feet until it spills into the pond. This scene is observed from a three-foot-wide arched walkway that crosses the stream. Both ponds are surrounded by this walkway, which allows the observer an assortment of views and moods.
Types of Water Plants