Why the Garden of Cultivation special?
Located at No.5 Wenya Nong in Suzhou City, the Garden of Cultivation, with its Chinese name “Yipu”, is one of the best preserved examples of Ming Dynasty classical garden in Suzhou.
The Garden of Cultivation Highlight
The garden's arrangement is open and simple: buildings, ponds and mountain trees are laid out from north to south successively. All structures in the garden are used to create one artistic garden view with hills shrouded in mist, waves reaching far into the distance, and trees growing luxuriantly.
The pond in the middle of the garden occupies one fourth of the total area and has a roughly rectangular shape with coves at the southeast and southwest corners, which are spanned by low, flat and small bridges.
On the east and west banks of the pond are roofed and open-sided galleries, pavilions, rocks and trees, serving transitionally as a foil to the northern and southern scenes.
At the southeast corner of the pond is the Fry Pavilion that dates from the Ming Dynasty. A moon gate in the wall that borders the pond and the mountains leads to a small garden court on the southwest.
The 6-pillar-wide Water Pavilion of Longevity lies to the north of the pond, overlooking the broad expanse of water, and is the biggest water pavilion at Suzhou. To the north of the water pavilion is the 6-pillar-wide Hall of Erudition and Elegance in the style of the Ming Dynasty.
The Garden of Cultivation, simple, rustic and natural, still keeps much of the layout, design principles and other characteristics of the Ming garden. Altogether the garden has 13 pavilions, 17 tablets, and 8 stelae.