China

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The earliest information about the gardens of this country, which we know from the written sources, drawing and other sources, which date back to XII c. B.C. One of the first parks of ancient China was created by the Chinese ruler Zhou. My Wang, who came to power immediately after,  created luxurious gardens with different structures. Emperor Jing Chi-Hoang, in the time of his dominion, created immense parks with an area of more than 1000 ha. Unfortunately, the there is not much known information about the planning of the ancient Chinese parks.

The development of gardens in China had two main styles. One of them was characterized by the presence of miniature gardens in small sections of land. Suzhou and Shanghai contained many of these gardens. In these gardens the trees are given dwarfish forms. A characteristic property of the second style was that gardens and parks were located on expansive pieces of land which contained ponds and were united into a single, united composition. One of the best examples of parks of this style, which was preserved up to this day, is the park of Tuisiyuan. This summer palace park of the emperor was located in the picturesque area to the West of the capital of Peking. The park has area of 330 ha (about 290 acres) and fourth fifths of its territory were covered with water. Water was a an essential element of Chinese gardens. In the park of important courtiers water covered large areas. These were usually ponds, little rivers and waterfalls. Frequently artificial islands and peninsulas, which had beautiful gazebos arranged on them, were located inside these water features. The park of Tuisiyuan is considered as the meeting place of miniature copies of the most beautiful areas of China.

The special features of the landscape design of these two styles consist of the following:

• the natural views of the country serve as the basis of the creation of gardens and parks;

• ideas taken from paintings are used for the design of park views;

• relief is created with such carefulness that it seems as though it was created by nature;

water is the most important element of a garden;

• gardens are filled with all possible structures such as urns, lamps and sculptural images of birds and animals made of china and bronze;

• the assortment of trees in the gardens is very diverse.

 The landscape design of China in XVII-XVIII c. was developed especially rapidly. The gardens of China were both monumental and miniature. In the parks many different structures: pavilions, gazebos, galleries, walls, fences, bridges the rest park alleys took shape by the large number of decorative elements. For paving lime stones, marble plates and mosaics were used, they also decorated the path with figures of birds and animals. In the parks artificial relief was frequently created. Trees and bushes transplanted in groups and even in entire groves, of which most popular is the bamboo, the plum and the pine tree. Considerable attention was paid to the flower decoration. Ponds and cliffs were widely used. The parks of Tuisiyuan (330 ha), Beihai park (104 ha) in Peking and Liu Yuan in Suzhou are the most widely known parks.