Chinese gardens are not what we in the Western Hemisphere associate with gardens. They are less about plants, especially flowers, and more about landscaping, the use of rocks and buildings to complement a scene.
Classic Chinese gardens of this type can be found extensively in the city of Suzhou, just west of Shanghai. We visited several of these gardens and were mesmerized by the beauty and peace that they inspired. One of these was the Humble Administrator’s Garden.
Another, the Lion’s Grove Gardens, relied even more on rock formations to set the scene. These gardens and others in Suzhou are included in Gary’s “Walking Tour of Suzhou,” available for purchase on the website for just $1.49.
Of course, the Chinese emperors had to have their own private gardens in their exclusive enclave, the Forbidden City. Once again, the landscape was fashioned with rocks and some plantings.