For many thousand of years, China has been developing its gardens into structures of purpose and meaning. The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney's CBD is a beautiful example - and shows you how to adopt its ideas into your own garden and imbue it with special meaning.
If you’re tired of formal flower beds and neat lawns, imitate nature’s wild aspects with a waterfall tumbling down rocks. Scale it to suit your own space.
A zigzag path helps draw your attention to different aspects of the garden. Try this at home where you have special plants or features you want to show off.
Smooth, rustic-looking paths are yin, so encourage yang by allowing moss to grow between the pavers.
You may think a window is for light. Here, it’s used to frame the landscape beyond.
Themes you can adopt in your own garden
1. Miniature landscape
Re-create a natural landscape in miniature. In Chinese gardens, a copse of pines, or a single tree, becomes a forest, while a mass planting of mondo grass represents rolling hills. You can use trees you love and substitute other strappy-leafed plants for mondo grass.
2. Frame your windows
Pavilions create a framed view – through an opening, a window or a ‘cut’ through a wall – to reveal something special. Shrubbery is pruned so more of the garden can be seen through it. Give your inside windows an outlook to a stunning garden specimen so it can be like a moving picture, changing with the seasons.
3. Include the five elements
The aim of many Chinese gardens is to balance five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – to create a fluid, nurturing environment. In your garden, wood can be trees and fire a red-flowering plant. Earth can be a garden bed, metal a work of art and water a simple bird bath. Wood fuels fire, fire forms earth, earth holds metal, metal carries water and water feeds wood – it’s how you place each element that makes an impact.
For more information, go to Chinese Garden of Friendship.
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