Why is Ge Garden special?
Situated in Yangzhou city, Jiangsu Province, Ge Garden is the best-preserved garden with an outstanding artistic value and the longest history. It is a representative of private gardens of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Yangzhou due to its unique design and artistic charm.
Shouyi Garden, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is the predecessor of Ge Garden. It was later rebuilt as a private garden in 1818 during the Qing Dynasty. The owner of the garden was rich salt merchant, whom thought highly of the upright character of the bamboo. And half of the Chinese character "竹" (bamboo) pronounces "Ge", hence the name Ge Garden.
In the garden, there are Yiyu House, Baoshan tower, Fuyun pavilion, Zhuqiu pavilion and so on. All of these architectures are harmoniously integrated with the pools and artificial hills. The old trees also add some elegance and simplicity to the garden.
Ge Garden uses bamboo and rocks as the principal elements and is characterized by stone-piling. Different rockeries are formed from different kinds of rocks to represent different scenes of the four seasons, hence the name 'four-season-rockery'. It is the one and only four-season-rockery in China. Compared to the other plants, the garden gives priority to bamboo. Using the unique shapes of the rocks, a distinctive scene consisting of bamboo and rocks is formed. It actually is a mixture of the magnificence of the North and the delicacy of the South.
Ge Garden Highlights
The 'four-season-rockery' is made up of the spring rockery, the summer rockery, the autumn rockery, and the winter rockery. When people visit the garden, they will get the feeling of experiencing the essence of the four seasons of the year.
The Spring Hill
The Spring Hill is a moon-shaped gate above which the Chinese character “个” is engraved. Going through the gate, one will encounter numerous slender bamboo trees and unevenly distributed stalagmites. The bamboo and stones form a beautiful picture of spring scenery.
The Summer Hill
The Summer Hill is layered with rocks from Taihu Lake. Stream runs across the rocks to the pond, with golden carp chasing after each other among the water lilies. The piled rocks along the pond produce a summer scene, complete with caves, a winding bank and stalactites.
The Autumn Hill
The Autumn Hill is a yellow, artificial hill situated in the east. It stretches across half of the garden, consisting of piled up craggy rocks. Stone rooms and stone bridges were modeled after the hill with a pavilion on top. It is said that when the sun sets, it feels as though autumn has arrived -- hence the name: Autumn Hill.
The Winter Hill
Winter Hill lies beneath the east peak of the yellow artificial hill. Situated on the south of the garden, it was built with layers of white stones that resemble snow. It is said that when sunlight is reflected by the rocks on the peak, it casts a shadow, producing an ice-like luster, which makes the perfect winter scenery.