Classical Chinese gardens and fountains are more than collections of beautiful plants, trees and water. They are representations of nature, providing insight into the philosophical and spiritual mind of past Chinese artisans and high-ranking citizens.

The principles of classical Chinese gardening can be useful and insightful to garden lovers living anywhere in the world. Chinese design objectives can inspire American home gardeners to try something new such as a garden fountain and encourage the expression of culture and philosophy through gardening.

In the 2,000 years since the imperial family first set aside natural areas for hunting, traditional gardens in China have developed into an art form equal in rank to painting, calligraphy and poetry. Several of the finest gardens, built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912), have survived the ravages of time and politics.

Suzhou, about 50 miles west of Shanghai, is known as "the city of gardens." For generations, rich officials, merchants, landowners, scholars, garden designers and garden crafters settled in Suzhou to enhance its fame. The principles of classical Chinese gardens were well represented in their gardens. Visitors come to learn their secrets and experience their magic.

These gardens provide insight into the traditional Chinese view of nature, which includes the role human's play in the natural order. The gardens hold clues to the ancient Chinese mind through the winding paths, the use of symbolism and the selection of plants. In the traditional Chinese view of nature, humans were equals with everything in the natural world. As the philosopher Lao Tsu wrote in the Tao Te Ching, "Man follows the earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. Tao follows what is natural." Traditionally, Chinese people assisted in the expression of nature but did not impose their will upon it.

Chinese gardens were originally designed to symbolize a living entity: rocks formed the skeleton, water and fountains functioned as the blood, while plants provided the clothing. To portray the influence of human beings in nature, architectural constructions (bridges, pavilions, halls, courtyards, gateways, windows, doors and pavings) were integrated into a garden's design. Their purpose was to illustrate the ideal interaction of humans with nature. Together, these elements made up all that is natural on Earth: vegetation, mountains, and bodies of water with gently flowing Chinese fountains as well as human influence. The way they were integrated into the garden expressed the relationships they have in nature.

Gardeners in the West may be unable to mimic the grandeur with which the ancient Chinese gardeners represented nature, but they can include parts of each element. The goal is to create a sense of wholeness within the limitations of the site and to consider all these elements as integral parts of the garden.

Just as a garden's main elements are symbolic of the parts of a living whole, symbols that make up the culture's beliefs are scattered throughout Chinese gardens and integrated in their design. For example, bad spirits were believed to travel in straight lines so pathways were seldom designed straight or flat. It was believed that the many changes in levels and directions made it difficult for these spirits to infect the people enjoying the garden. Dragons, symbols of strength, change and goodness, frequently adorn Chinese fountain walls and roofs of garden structures.

Suitability -- The most appropriate location for every feature of a garden must be found. Seasonal changes in weather and plants as well as the physical requirements of the garden site are considered. In addition to finding the most suitable site for each garden element (plants, rocks, water fountains and architectural constructions), details such as the size, shape, color and placement of railings, windows and doors in a building, for example, are also considered to ensure complete harmony of the surroundings.

Taking Advantage - The Chinese garden designer attempts to use the garden's surroundings, whether near or distant, to the best advantage. Sights, sounds, movement and stillness, the subtle and the obvious, are used as part of the scenes created within the garden. Many of the private gardens in China were small in size -- no larger than the typical garden sites of single family homes in the United States. It is the challenge, then, of the garden designer to create the illusion of spaciousness by incorporating far-off sights and sounds into the garden's ambiance.

Refinement - To define what is refined in the garden design is a judgment rooted in culture. In Chinese gardens, this refinement has meant incorporating a tranquility, gracefulness, elegance, neatness and distinctness that is in accordance with nature. The expression of these characteristics is judged in China against culturally accepted historical standards. Outside of China, gardeners can define what is considered refined according to their own standards.

Simplicity - To Ji Cheng, being simple means not being extravagant. Resources that are on site or nearby are considered the best materials to use in designing the garden. Rare or unusual objects and plants are considered extravagant.

Changeability - This objective is prominent in traditional Chinese gardens because it expresses the natural law of constant change. A garden design can create a sense of change and unexpectedness with scene changes in every turn of a path, an unexpected or different view from each window and aesthetic changes with each season. Designs can include changes caused by clouds, sun, wind, rain, snow, insects, birds, plants and water.
A garden's plants provide a link among all its elements, symbolizing harmony in nature. Plants are the garden's dynamic, living component.

In accordance with the Chinese view of gardens as representations of nature, the trees, shrubs and flowers of a garden are chosen to reflect the unique features of the garden's region. Most traditional Chinese gardeners select native plants, or plants with special meaning in Chinese culture. Bamboo, for example, is common in Chinese gardens because of the many lessons it teaches. Bamboo is strong and resilient. Staying green throughout the winter, it teaches that one can flourish despite harsh conditions. Bamboo grows in clumps, modeling life in the family. Its fast growth illustrates self-development.

The plants are situated in ways that show off an individual plant's unique features. Their arrangements in the design demonstrate their interrelationships with other species as they occur in their natural habitats. The purpose of plants in Chinese gardens is to reflect the inherent order of nature. More than a collection of plants or even an expression of beauty in the purely visual sense, the classical Chinese garden is a physical representation of Chinese philosophy and culture. These gardens embody the best of traditional Chinese thought and culture, which sees humanity functioning as part of a greater natural order.

Today, home gardeners can apply their plant growing talents in the spirit of these old Chinese gardens by expressing their own culture and philosophy toward nature in their garden designs and by applying Ji Cheng's design objectives. The result will be a garden that unites aesthetics, plant cultivation, philosophy and culture.

Tag : garden,chinese garden,fountains,chinese

Container gardening has been around for centuries and is actually gaining in popularity. In some instances there is no other option BUT to use garden pots for a garden such as high-rise or apartment living. The following is a list of considerations if you are thinking of using garden pots in your own garden:

1. Choose the Proper Material

Garden pots can be made from a variety of materials. Some heavier, some more durable and some more stylish. By thinking about how the pots will be used, you can narrow down your options.

2. As a Matter of Fact, Size Does Matter

The kind of plant you will be planting (and the number of plants) will help determine how big the pots you will need to have. Obviously, small trees will require a larger pot than, say, a tulip.

3. Vary The Sizes

If you vary the sizes of the plants and the pots, you will create a garden with a more eye-catching appearance. Place small pots up close and scale them up as you go back.

4. Place Your Pots in Groups

Add interest or a focal point to your garden by grouping smaller and mid-sized pots around a large pot.

5. Place Plants That Require The Same Amount of Watering In Each Pot

Obviously, you shouldn't put a water-loving plant (like a fern) in with a group of cactus. Watering requirements should be the same for all the plants in a single pot.

6. Place Plants That Require The Same Amount of Sunlight In Each Pot

Also, keep in mind how much sunlight your plants require. Pots heat up quickly and lose water when they are in direct sunlight so try to make sure they are in shade at least part of the day.

7. Choose Plants That Require Less Water

Small pots tend to dry up fast since they can't hold much water. Picking out plants that don't need much water in the first place will make your container garden easier to maintain.

8. Good Drainage Is Key

Most garden pots already have a hole in the bottom for drainage. If the ones you have don't, you will have to drill them yourself. Place either a screen, a couple layers of newspaper or a shard from another broken pot over the hole. This will allow water to drain out the bottom but keep the soil from falling out.

9. Add Waterproofing to Terracotta Pots

Terracotta makes a great material for pots, but they tend to soak up quite a bit of the water intended for your plants. Brush on a water sealant to the inside of the pot to keep this from occurring.

10. Use Potting Soil

Use potting soil instead of regular dirt. Potting soil is specially blended for the purpose of putting in pots. Its made to hold water better than normal soil and its considerably lighter in weight.

Tag : garden,garden pots,pots,container

Are you considering making a vegetable garden? If so, you should check into some vegetable garden plans. Garden plans inspire new, creative ideas even as they allow you to plan things out in advance before you do the "real" work of moving things around and planting and transplanting. It's always best to have a plan on paper first before you do the harder-to-correct work of actually putting things in order and planting things. Having garden plans in advance will save you time, money, and frustration.

Vegetable garden plans should be designed around factors such as personal taste, where you live geographically, and how much space you have for planting. Let's consider some garden plans that you may want to implement.

  1. Patio vegetable garden. Make a compact and easily tended garden on your deck or patio. Use two small soil beds and have a dense, synergistic mixture of herbs, vegetables, and flowers in each one.
  2. Colorful vegetable gardens. Use harmonious but contrasting colors in your choice of things you plant. These are interesting gardens. They also tend to be very healthy for you, since it's recommended that you get a "mixture of colors" in your veggies and fruits for optimal health.
  3. Heritage vegetable garden. Now, what's this mean? It means make it full of heirloom varieties of veggies. Again, this is diverse to the end of good health while at once being interesting and artistically inspired to create.
  4. The Asian vegetable garden. You might have to look online for some (or most) of the veggies you would grow in this garden. But it would yield different tastes than what you may be used to. Furthermore, Asian vegetables tend to need less space for growing than what could be found in Farmer MacGregor's garden.
  5. The Italian garden. We all know that the Italians make incredibly tasty food. Imagine having the tomatoes and herbs and other ingredients you need to make your own spaghetti or pizza sauce among other Mediterranean dishes.
  6. The All-American veggie garden. Hey, who says Americans just make hot dogs, burgers, fries, and take-out pizza? Research American veggie varieties and put together a garden that you'd be proud to "drag" a Chicago-style hot dog through.
  7. Autumn yield garden. What's better than still harvesting fresh produce on crisp mornings or evenings, just before the Winter sets in? Lay up your stores for the months of plant dormancy.
Now you've seen some very interesting and creative garden plan. To learn even more about vegetable garden plans that you can use, just follow the link below.

Tag : garden,garden plans,vegetable garden,vegetable

Home Garden - Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column