A tradition dating back more than three thousand years, the Chinese garden, or a Chinese classical garden is a study in natural landscapes. Usually walled with water features and any number of trees and plants, a Chinese garden is well maintained and carefully created to mimic and unrolling of nature as you move through the gardens.
The Beauty of Chinese Gardens
The first Chinese gardens were recorded as being created during the Shang Dynasty as early as 1600 B.C. The gardens were used for hunting or growing food and were often very large parks that were enclosed completely with walls. The tradition of the enclosed garden continued throughout the centuries and still today a traditional Chinese garden is found inside walls.
The walls around the garden aren’t the only the items of note, however. Inside the garden you’ll find not only plants, but distinctive water features and architecture as well. Among the most prominent forms of architecture you’ll see pavilions, ceremony buildings, courtyards, gates and windows all designed to help garden owners and visitors better appreciate the elements of nature contained within the garden. For example, the Lotus Pavilion is traditionally built next to a lotus pond in order to see the flowers and appreciate their fragrance.
Rocks and Water in a Chinese Garden
Plants are critical to a Chinese garden, and these natural elements work in tandem with other natural aspects as well. A large pond or a lake is a critical element inside the Chinese garden. All buildings and pavilions are built around the lake. Rock formations – both real and false – are used to create winding paths through the garden. The rock is arranged to be as natural as possible in appearance and location. Entire rock gardens may be created as well as a feature of the Chinese Garden.
With all of its many elements, the Chinese garden was created not only to be pleasant to see, but also as a way to house celebrations, relax and become closer to nature.