From about 2000 B.C.E. gardening took place in the Imperial Hunting Grounds of China’s Xia dynasty and leading up to 1000 B.C.E, Emperors Palace Gardens,were planted in the Shang dynasty.
Thereafter, large and elaborate Imperial Gardens were established through the Zhou & Qin dynasties till the 1st Century C.E, when in the Early Han dynasty, large sacred mountain shaped rocks were included and used as contemplative features; constructing the palaces, gardens and parks in imitation of nature.
These events took place in China’sEarly Empire.
By the 2nd Century, in the Later Han dynasty, Private Gardens developed as retreats inside walls of cities and smaller rocks were displayed on wooden stands or set in shallow water bowls.
By the 3rd Century, Dyana Buddhists from India had introduced medicinalplants that were dwarfed (possibly for easier transportation) and these sects then merged with Chinese Daoist groups to become Chan Buddhists, who included seedling trees in their mountain compositions.
By the 4th Century, in Jin dynasty era of the Six Dynasty period; the term p’oon tsui , p’an-tsai or p’en tsai was introduced in a famous ode “Returning Home” and by the end of the 4th Century, these individual trees and also landscapes planted in shallow bowls, became known as pun-ching using plants with positive symbolic meaning.
Chinese characters for punsai were recorded.& pun-ching,
By the 6th Century, around 500 C.E, in the Eastern Jin dynasty; Chan Buddhists spread this miniaturisation of landscape to other parts of Asia.
These events took place in China’s Second Empire.
By the 8th Century, the Tang dynasty saw a period of new development with Natural Scenic Parks constructed for public enjoyment;
Landscape punsaiknown as tsai-ching were introduced and pun-ching became more popular among common people ( not just the aristocrats & literati scholars of prior times).
Beautiful vista in monographic aspect ; and then,
Scroll painting brought the concept of gardens enchanting vistas revealed scene by scene.
The first book on Pun-ching was scribed by the 10th Century, in the Southern Song dynasty.
13th Century “Eighteen Scholars” scroll
of the Northern Sung Dynasty
( 960 - 1126 )
literati Scholars playing music, featuring a palm & juniper pun-ching
literati Scholars practicing calligraphy, featuring a pine pun-ching
literati Scholars playing Chinese chess, featuring a pine pun-ching
literati Scholars painting landscapes, featuring a pun-ching conifer
By the 14th through 17th Centuries, Ming through Qing dynasties, when Classical Chinese Gardens were at the height of their form;
the first penjing manual (changed for common usage from former word pun-ching), appeared.
Birth of Modern China, in the 17th Century.
…18th Century onwards
miniaturisation of landscapes
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Find out what other Chinese cultures travelled the " Silk Road " & 7 seas ?
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Trace the heritage backwards to the origin.
Figuratively climb your own mountain of interest.
Huangshan Mountain top pines
Search out these precious gems in your minds ' nature ' eye, within Chinese garden walls.