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Archit & Design
Chinese Garden 3

 Landscape gardens are different and are place for public recreation. The landscape garden mainly contains natural scenes, so it looks more natural than artificial. Good examples include the ten West Lake scenes in Hangzhou, the twenty-four Slim West Lake scenes in yangzhou. and the eight Daming Lake scenes in Jinan.

A common feature of Chinese garden architecture is the waterside pavilion - a derivation of an ancient wooden house supported on stilts. It later became the fashion to build waterside pavilions upon the lake or pond of a garden so that half the structure was built on land, while the other half was raised on stilts above a body of water. So as to allow viewing of the garden from all sides of the building, decorative windows were placed along the periphery of the wall. Such a waterside pavilion can be seen in the Humble Administrator"s Garden .

Another key element of Chinese gardens is their covered corridors, built to allow the owners to enjoy the garden in the rain and snow. These covered walkways fall into two categories, those which connect buildings and those which are built by the shore of a small pond or lake. As with waterside pavilions, corridors often have windows or "scenic openings", which act as picture frames directing the eye to particular views of the garden. Such scenic openings were designed simply as circles, squares or ovals or in more imaginative shapes like those of a lotus petal, garland or bay leaf.

Often the most exquisite elements of a Chinese garden can be found in its details. Such is the case with the footpaths, imaginatively patterned with coloured pebbles into a variety of designs along the ground. A common motif is that of the square within a circle, signifying the ancient belief that the "heaven is round and the earth square". Good luck omens may also often be found. Whilst the bat and crane symbolize good fortune and longevity, the fishing net portends affluence. There are, in addition, often depictions of scenes from well-known traditional paintings and legends.

The Garden of the Master of the Nets is one of the smallest gardens in Suzhou, but is also consider one of its finest. Constructed in the twelfth century and then, after a period of abandonment, restored during the eighteenth century, it was the residence of a retired official. The eastern part of the grounds served as the residential area, the central section was the main garden and the western portion the inner garden. The Humble Administrator"s Garden was so-named after a Jin dynasty (1115-1234) poem which read, "Watering the garden and selling vegetables constitute a humble administrator"s business." Originally the home of the Tang Poet, Lu Guimou, the garden took on its present form during the Ming dynasty and is perhaps one of the most representative of Ming dynasty garden designs.


         Many famous poets and painters contributed greatly to the development of landscape gardens. They either left poetic inscriptions for those gardens, or designed many of the gardens themselves. In order to commemorate those poets and painters,later generations had their poems and inscriptions engraved on tablets, pavilions, or pagodas, thus enriching and ispiring visitors.

 
   
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