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Classical Chinese Garden Design

Garden design was considered an art in China. Gardens aree specially appreciated for their great beauty and naturalness. One of the most common ways of making a chinese home more elegant was to develop one or more areas into a garden. Through the use of a combination of such natural elements as rock, water, trees and flowers and such artificial elements as architecture, painting and poetry, the designer sought to attain an effect which adhered to the Daoist principles of balance and harmony, man and nature. In time, garden design came to be regarded as a refined activity for the well-heeled and well-educated.

The Chinese consider gardens a serious art form and as with painting, sculpture and poetry aim to attain in their design the balance, harmony, proportion and variety that are considered essential to life. In fact there is a saying which goes, 'the garden is an artistic recreation of nature; a landscape painting in three dimensions" .

Chinese Garden Design And Architecture

The Chinese garden is divided into three categories: the imperial garden, the private garden and the natural scenic site.

One of the most well known Chinese garden design options is that of water, and water is actually very important in any Chinese garden because water is one of the most representative Chinese symbols, representing purity and serenity.

Water can be used in many different ways in your Chinese garden, for instance you can put a water fountain as the centerpiece of your garden, or you could just stick to making a few shallow ponds here and there with pretty rocks and stones in them as decorations.

Chinese Garden Waterside Pavilion

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.


Another important Chinese garden design option that you want to take into consideration is that of magic lanterns, and these are another one of the most popularly used implements in any traditional Chinese garden.

These lanterns are not only incredibly beautiful and decorative, but as well they are extremely traditional and meaningful of Chinese culture overall.

There are so many other things that you can put in your Chinese garden as well, but regardless of what you want to put in it the most important thing to remember is that opposite of Japanese gardens, which are simple and sparse, Chinese gardens are incredibly dense and complex, and so you are thus going to want to make sure that you include a lot of different items and many different forums.

Incorporating Chinese Traditions

Try to incorporate as many different Chinese traditions as you can into your garden, and obviously then the bigger area of space you have to work with the better, because then you will be able to fit that many more elements into your available space.

Just remember to take your time while you are creating your Chinese garden, and try not to get frustrated because this will take the fun away from it, and having fun is the most important thing here. After all, you want your Chinese garden to come out looking great, but you also want to make sure that you are thoroughly enjoying yourself while you are actually creating it.

Also remember that doing more research on the issue of Chinese gardens in general before you start is a good idea, so that you can be that much more informed and have a better idea of what elements you should include in your garden.

Chinese Garden Details

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 colored 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. Additionally there are often depictions of scenes from well-known traditional paintings and legends.


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