Private Gardens Reappear in Scenic City

People who are well-off have begun to build their private gardens in the scenic city of Suzhou after this tradition was discontinued for about one century.

In history officials, intellectuals and rich businessmen built their private delicately designed and world-famous gardens in Suzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province, some of which have been declared world cultural heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

As local citizens enjoy a rise in their living standards owed to sustained economic prosperity, a few people began to restore the tradition of building private gardens.

With the help of friends, Cai Tinghui, president of the Suzhou Chinese Painting Academy, built a 460-square-meter garden in 14 months. In the garden there are a small bridge, rockery, gloriette, a pavilion waterfall, flowers and running water elaborately arranged to form a romantic environment, which attracts kingfishers to rest in the garden.

This and other modern private gardens is not solely for residential purposes, they are also equipped with rockery, running water, flowers and trees, tiling, and gardening buildings, which are six characteristics needed for a truly traditional garden, according to Wang Wei, senior gardening engineer with the Suzhou Bureau of Parks and Woods.

These modern gardens not only improve the living environment, but also add new cultural attractions to the city, Wang said.

( 02/08/2001)