About this set

The essence of a Chinese garden is said to be "infinite riches in a small room". Harmony, proportion and variety.

The following are characteristics:

• Rocks, water, buildings, trees and vegetation in different combinations
• Glimpses through delicate lattice or file pattern openings or moon gates, or through gaps in rock or bamboo
• Reflections in water
• Perspectives suggesting whole landscape or borrowing outside features as part of the design
• Bridges which zig-zag to foil evil spirits
• Mystically arranged rockeries
• Small pavilions and terraces suggesting larger scale
• Undulating covered walkways
• Fish in ponds
• Marble fencing

Everything is designed to be viewed a little at a time, and not to look natural. Everything has symbolic significance.


The spelling of the Chinese names of the places and gardens in this image set is debatable, as are their English equivalents, such is the problem of translating them from Chinese.

The dynasties referred to date as follows:

• Tang/T'ang 618-907
• Song/Sung 960-1280
• Yuan 1279-1368
• Ming 1368-1644
• Ching/Qing 1644-1911