China Garden: History & Characteristics


China Garden: History & Characteristics

Classical China garden mix natural and artificial elements. It creates a relaxing environment where people can freely roam about. They combine architectural elements, paintings, literature, and even horticulture to provide something inherently artistic in nature. Looking or experiencing it can provide a tremendous effect on the body and mind. Additionally, a tourist can get the greatest possible effect of such a garden. However, there is a need to properly understand what they exactly are.

China Garden: History & Characteristics
China Garden: History & Characteristics

History Of China Garden

The construction of gardens in China has an ancient origin. Major developments occurred during the Han dynasty (220 BC to 206 AD). Moreover, in the beginning, it was basically a place to properly rest for the royalty. However, since the third century, the appearance of a thriving middle class of merchants and officials made the garden leave the imperial sphere. Likewise, its construction got a makeover too. This resulted in a large number of gardens with different sizes and concepts at play. Thus, it extended its scope to both the bourgeoisie and even the religious.

It reached a zenith of perfection during the 18th century in which the introduction of the western garden and, by extension, the corruption of the Chinese garden took place. Most of these gardens subsequently disappeared, some due to Western influence, others due to a lack of care. Generally, wars, revolution, droughts and other forms of man-made calamities have wreaked havoc over the survival of China Gardens.

The Concept Of The China Garden

Many think that the garden is actually heaven on earth, a miniature image of the earthly landscape, a poetic or pictorial creation, a compendium of philosophical elements, as well as a means to achieve peace of mind and spiritual development. All of this combined together to provide something that is inherently valuable or consequential. Thus, we are facing a magical world in which the artist has to reach the soul of those who contemplates it and causes emotional changes in the viewer.

The garden must also represent the passage of the seasons, in such a way that it is different in each of them. Normally, a wise choice of plants can achieve this.

The garden must follow the rules of Feng Shui, placing the garden in the appropriate place and trying to create a harmonious world by distributing the different elements that compose it, according to the rules.

In the same way, you must take into account the principles of Tao, with a balanced composition between a rock (yang) and water (yin), beauty and ugliness, as well as everything that could involve itself.

Classification Of China Garden Architecture

China’s classical gardens can be divided into two main categories.

Imperial Gardens, generally these gardens were part of the imperial palaces, temporary abbeys, and palaces removed from the capital where the emperors spent short periods.

China Garden: History & Characteristics
China Garden: History & Characteristics

You could usually find private gardens inside and around the cities. Although, private gardens were also part of residences. Mainly, they were used by writers to enjoy their moments of tranquility and solitude. However, now academics, high-ranking officials and wealthy merchants, all have at least one to display their wealth and social status.

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