Monday, July 21, 2014

Chinese Scholar's Garden

Took a trip out to Staten Island to visit the Staten Island, Snug Harbor Botanical Garden's Chinese Scholar's Garden.

Jìxīng Yuán

This garden is one of only two Chinese scholar gardens in the U.S. It was built back in 1999 from prefabricated parts made in China and assembled on site by Chinese workers from Suzhou.

I had the opportunity to visit it in 2000 when it was still new. At that time, there were few planting visible in the garden. Today, 14 years later, it looked very different. Plantings now cover much of the structure, but also make the environment within seem more authentic. The structure needs some repair work, but overall it is in very good shape.

In addition to the images I posted below, I came across the following video-tour. It is worth a look because it gives an authentic feeling of what it is like to walk through the garden and it was filmed in the fall when the colors are spectacular.

view from the entry way

view from just past the entry way

one of several banana-leaf gates

corridor leading to the central courtyard

Viewing Pavilion across  the pond from the central courtyard

central courtyard

crane motif in stone on the central courtyard

Viewing Pavilion, across from the central courtyard

bridge over waterfall (drops outside of the garden)

moon gate entrance to adjoining garden area

click to view interior panoramic image of the Scholar's pavilion

elaborate stone work leading to a banana-leaf gate

banana-leaf gate entrance behind Scholar's Pavilion

entry way to small enclosure

view from side room towards small enclosure

view from side room towards Dragon Wall garden area

framed window view

Dragon Wall garden area 

ornamental stone bridge

moon gate from within Dragon Wall garden area

Dragon Wall garden area, opposite view

zig-zag bridge

click to view panoramic image of zig-zag bridge area

moon gate, looking towards central courtyard

sitting area on the Xie structure

view from the Xie structure

one of several Leaky windows

click to view panoramic image of Dragon Wall garden area

Scholar's Pavilion from Viewing Pavilion

Dragon Wall garden area seen through the moon gate

Scholar's Pavilion from within the Viewing Pavilion

screened view from within Viewing Pavilion looking out

view of the Xie structure from outside the garden

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