Administrator's Garden is
situated on Northeast Street between Loumen and Qimen gates, the northeastern
part of Suzhou city. Covering 51,950 squere miles,it is the largest
private garden in Suzhou and one of the four most famous classic gardens
in China. The garden is a typical example of the art of horticulture south
of Yangtze River as well as a treasure house containing arts of architecture,
calligraphy, carving, painting, and bonsai. It was listed as cultural
relics of national importance in 1961.
built in the Jia Jing period of the Ming Dynasty by Wang Xianchen, Censor
of the Throne. The
name of the garden comes from the essay "To cultivate my garden and
sell my vegetable crop is the policy of humble man." in Idler's Prose
by Pan Yue of the Jin dynasty.
the historical characteristics and achievements of south-east China's
private gardens. The garden's scenery is focused on a central pond with
various buildings of pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers located
by the water or on hillocks in a natural, unsophisticated, and appropriate
composition. It is divided into three parts: the eastern, middle and western
middle garden is the most distinguished part of the Humble Administrator's
It centers around Yuanxiang Tang pavilion. Two artificial islands linked
to each other in the lotus pond north of the pavilion are densely overgrown
with bamboo plants and trees, creating the impression that the entire
garden is floating on water. Seen westward, a pagoda would be seen sitting
in western garden, which actually is situated 1km away from the garden.
The picturesque scene of the pagoda mirrored in water is an example of
the garden technique called "borrowed view from afar".
Garden lies right inside the main entrance. Ponds
were dug, rockeries built and trees planted against a setting of low mounds
and lawns. Shu Xiang Guan (Fragrant Sorghum Hall), Lan Xue Tang (Orchid
Snow Hall) and other buildings were added to the original layout.
west garden are properly arranged by the lake, in which the Hall of the
Thirty-Six Mandarin Ducks and the Hall of Eighteen Camellias are most
important. It was established during the third year of the Guangxu period
(1877 A.D.) and rebuilt by Zhang Luqian, who named it "Rebuilt Garden". To
the end of west garden lies a bonsai garden, where more than 700 potted
miniature landscapes arc are on display, representing the Suzhou style
bonsai, one of the four leading bonsai styles in china.
administrator's Garden boasts altogether 48 different buildings, 101 parallel
couplets and door plateaux, 40 stelae, 21 precious old trees.