1 febbraio 2021
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The secret of Chinese classical gardening art

The Humble Administrator’s garden has witnessed the changes of different dynasties, whether it is experiencing prosperity or decline, the four seasons will always change on time in the garden. No matter what season, the visitors can enjoy its unique scenery and find inner peace in the garden, which is inseparable from the principle gardening elements of Chinese classical gardens.

The Humble Administrator’s Garden, one of the four famous gardens in the region south of Yangtze River in China, is a model of Chinese classical garden and a comprehensive art of water, rockeries, plants and architectures. As changing at every step, the garden demonstrates the archaic, rustic, extensive and naturalistic features of the Chinese classical garden in the Ming Dynasty.

WATER The philosophical meaning of water, the spiritual state of water, and the clear flow of water are the direct reasons to use water as the main gardening element.

ROCKERIES – Rockery is an imitation of natural rocks. Through various compositions and techniques, rocks of different shapes, textures and colors are piled into various shapes of rockeries. The major use of the rockeries in the gardening technique of coming straight to the point is known as “obstructive scene” (it makes visitors unable to see the whole scene by setting obstruction), which plays the role of fascinating.

PLANTS The plants are the carriers of Chinese scholars’ cultural information in the ancient time. They often use the natural attributes of the plants as a metaphor for people’s social attributes, to express people’s ideal character and will, and embody “a flower and a grass see the spirit”, and further use it as the theme or artistic conception of scenic spots. It is undeniable that the utilization of plants is mostly related to the season.

ARCHITECTURES The architectures in the Chinese classical garden have many practical functions such as being liveable and observable. The plaques, couplets, and inscriptions on the top and sides are the sustenance of the owner’s spiritual world. The Humble Administrator’s Garden has various architectural forms, using a wooden frame structure, secluded among water, rockeries and plants, with implicit beauty.

All photos by Yiding Zhu

Presented by the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Chinese classical gardens are abundant with an idyllic sense and reflects the life philosophy-living a simple life. Although we have separately introduced the four principal elements of Chinese classical gardens, it is obvious that the owner of the garden skillfully matched them together to create an unparalleled view during the building process. Do you want to learn more about the secret of Chinese classical gardening art?

Come to visit the Chinese classical garden and appreciate the pastoral scenery, you will calm down yourself with a sense of transcendence which combines your heart with the nature completely. “It looks like a painting, but hears like a song”, as it did in the case of the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou.


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