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Emphasis on just two elements, somewhere along China's Yangtze river.

It is human ' nature,' to long for mountains and waters.......

It is not, however, in everyone's genes - to long to belong in a Chinese Garden.

Mountain pavilion in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC.

As a visitor yes; not so though, as a resident or to belong as part of the

furniture [ so to speak ].

That takes a whole new kind of light......

  • Does Your compass, set the scene of a Chinese garden, as a kind of mediator ?

  • Do You feel daily inspired to expand, to proclaim and to uphold the sino-logic, behind one ?

We at Chinesegardenscene, hope, that the following thoughts;

from ancient of times, will be an encouragement, to You;

if you do.......

In 1956, Professor Chen Congzhou, wrote a study on Chinese gardens -

Suzhou yuanlin.

It included two essential notions....

  • xing   -   to be aroused by past events; a realisation,of.

  • bi      -   to draw comparisons to, or imply a resemblance to.

Chinese culture, dictates, that to attain to the peak of Spiritual cultivation;

man must truthfully love nature, above the things of the world [ classed as merely dust i.e. from dust they came and back to dust, they will go ].

To do this entails, reaching an understanding of the deeper things of life, that can connect us, back with nature.

Chinese gardens, certainly purpose this outcome.

The great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, [ earliest reliable reference to him, was in 100 B.C.E ] said in oriental understanding...

Inner peace does not result from:

  • seeking immortality
  • needing notoriety
  • wanting status
  • desiring wealth

That is because, in Occidental understanding, too:

  • those with hope & faith, do not fear death.
  • those who are modest, do not require fame.
  • those who are humble, do not crave for power.
  • those without covetous desires, do not need wealth.

Poet and one time owner of the Nanjing, Garden of Accommodation - Suiyuan [ which was destroyed in 1853 ];

Yuan Mei [ 1716-1798 ] 

Yuan Mei

In his 1749 Record of same - suiyuan ji

tells that he did not refute the concept of ' obsession,' for Chinese gardens;

rather, likened devoted ownership, to scholarship and sighted similarities of 'tree raising,' with the rearing of human offspring.

On the matter of Poetry - he elucidates the emotional appeal [ as with Chinese gardens ];

  • touching the heart.
  • scroll concealment & disclosure - visually pleasing & surprising.
  • offering textures to be touched.
  • perfumed blossom, breathed in.
  • elemental movement, delighting the hearing.

Can You not hear the gentle droplets landing on the water, here ? - a permitted photo from Facebook friend Ms Yun Moon.

In Wang Bi's commentary of Yuan Mei's - 5th Garden Record [ 1758 ]; he notes that giving ' objects,' adoration, damages them - yet if those objects, are  ' hills and gardens.'

Magnificence is no greater than these.

Further, it can be interpreted ' Chinese Gardens,' are sites of Purity.

Yuan Mei, in the same account, also recounts the virtues of:

' Keeping,' one's origin in mind; and

' Maintaining,' the association of one's roots.

letting go of ' worldly,' objectives.

a state of calm, quiet and peaceful, tranquility.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu, said that his Taoist words in the Tao Te Ching, were:

simple and userfriendly;

yet why did people not understand or use them ?

Mencius, spoke of affluent excess pleasures, taken with many.

Confucius, spoke of simple necessary pleasures, taken with only a few.


Sima Guang  [ 1019-1086 ]    was born in the Northern Song Dynasty.

Sima GuangHis " Garden of Solitary Joy [ Delight ],"  which we understand to have been constructed in 1071;   emphasized scholarly modesty & restraint.

Literatus Sima Guang, excused himself with his critics, for taking delight in everything that the world rejected, as lowly [ yet he was not selfish with it either ].

In his literary masterpiece, known as " History As a Mirror," he expressed views that if anything;

transcended more traditional Chinese concepts of his time.

From Volume 23 - He stated:

" Promises between different nationalities, must be kept."

From Volume 69 - He questioned:

" How can we consider one state [ states of the dynasty ] as legitimate and other states as illegitimate ? "

From Volume 138 - He talked of:

" Appointing talented people, revitalising abandoned things, caring for agriculture, commending morality and justice and reviving useful old customs."

From Volume 175 - He spoke of:

" Praising national integrity."   

From Volume 196 - He commended:

" The outstanding upright characters of the minor nationalities."

And from Volume 285 - He condemned:

" Those persons who betrayed their country, to seek power and wealth."

These, are all commendable things;

however, as with all men -

we are imperfect and he also perhaps made the later mistake, of practicing a policy of compromise and recession, which harmed the true unification of his people.

                  Yuan shi  [ garden history ]

Literatus Chen Jiru [ 1558-1639 ] wrote of four difficulties with Chinese gardens -

establishing them:

  • to create fine mountains & waters.
  • to readily, have fine old trees.
  • to plan.
  • to assign gardens and their elements, names.

and three easy things [ sadly ] with Chinese gardens -

keeping them:

  • they can be seized by power.
  • time can render them, unkempt.
  • uncultivated; they become vulgar.

Please visit Yuan Ming Yuan, through LINKAGE:

              The Garden of Perfection & Brightness

Taoyuan in Taiwan.  A county and city, named in the early to mid 1700's, as:        "  Garden of Peach Trees."

Everything can change; yet only if we let it.

Fridge magnet for Chinesegardenscene.cn  &  .com