Chinese Gardens

Surging Wave Pavilion, Suzhou
I love Chinese Gardens:  water and winding paths, bamboo and bridges, rocks and pavilions.  I love their irregular layout, zigzag routes, hidden corners.  I love views through pierced windows and covered corridors so that you can enjoy the garden in the rain.  I love the focus on nature and the seasons – a pavilion to savour osmanthus scent, a balcony to view the bamboo, a shaded grove for grass orchids.

Of course I love Suzhou and the Yuyuan in Shanghai.

Within the larger park of the Summer Palace in Beijing is the lovely Garden of Harmonious Pleasure.

Garden of Harmonious Pleasure

There are Chinese gardens outside China.  Perhaps no surprise to find one in Singapore.   Also in Sydney, Australia, and Hamilton, in New Zealand.   Unexpected was the one on Staten Island, in New York.  Plus I always go to the Chinese Garden Court  when I visit the Met, and enjoy a stroll though it.  There is so much Taihu rock scattered around the world, I wonder there is any left in the lake!

Chinese gardens that I have yet to see include RHS Bridgewater, Biddulph Grange VictorianaJardin Yili (Yveslines, France), Groningen (Netherlands),  Malta Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntingdon (California),  Portland (Oregon), Vancouver … and  many more.

Maxwell Hearn lecture on Chinese Gardens in art.

Architect IM Pei on Suzhou Gardens.