At the far end of the property Mr. Chambliss built his third reflecting pool and named it in recognition of Oswald Siren, a Swedish professor and author. A lovely gazebo nestled beneath a giant white oak overlooks the pool encircled with hemlocks and hollies. This is the perfect place to rest before continuing to tour the Riding by the loop drive or Indian Profile Trail. The more adventurous can hike 2.5 miles on the NPS road to Skyuka Spring or take Lights Mill Trail up the mountain slopes of Reflection Riding.
“Siren Pool is named in recognition of a book on gardens published about 1950 (Ronald Press) by Oswald Siren, a Swedish professor at the University of Stockholm. I got a great deal from his book dealing with English gardens. Through him I came to the conclusion that the fewer structures, buildings, museums, features and ornaments there are, the better.”
Excerpt from Names at Reflection Riding Have Botanical Significance
by John A. Chambliss
Siren noted that the landscape garden of the 18th century “was the expression of a spiritual ideal or concept, rather than of a formal style”. It was part of the 18th century Man’s “New Attitude Toward Nature” – “man was brought into an entirely new relation to his environment, to the landscape, to everything that grows and blooms, i.e. to the living beauty which is not created by the hands of man.”
The gazebo was commissioned by Susan Chambliss Irvine who had it built in memory of her mother, Margaret S. Chambliss, who loved quiet moments.