Chinese gardens rely on a poetic approach to rocks, water and plants and use fewer flowers than Western gardeners. Peonies are one of the few flowers used but the key plants are bamboos and shapely Pines. In contrast to our gardens, that are designed to lead to focal points, Chinese gardens often rely on unexpected views and a gradual reveal of the garden. Screens and hedges and strange diagonals may help you achieve this feel.
The use of text in a Chinese garden is a trait that is becoming more prevalent in the UK. Lines from literature, poetry or quotations can be effectively woven into your design.
Gardens in Beijing have evocative and often descriptive names. I like this idea but ‘Piles of Pretty Plants’ or ‘Compost Compound and Comfrey’ do not sound as evocative.
Garden of the Preservation of Harmony Yi He Yaun has lush green planting and exquisite bridges in the grounds of the former Summer Palace.
Garden of Perfect Brightness Yuan Ming Yuan is said too be like the ruins of Versailles.
The Imperial Palace Garden Yu Hua Yuan is quite small but contains plants dating back to the 15th Century.
Mountain Resort for Avoiding Heat Bi Shu Shan Zhuang is set in dramatic hills with large lakes and valleys to give you the felling of fresh cool air.
If you are planning a holiday in China see Top 10 Gardens in China