Gardens designed for refined pleasure and spiritual relaxation
were first perfected in ancient China. Western travelers from
Marco Polo onwards saw them, and marveled at their intricacy,
their elaborate garden buildings, their subtle design, and their
assured use of plants, water, and natural materials. Yet for
many centuries Westerners found them hard to understand and
could not use the skills and concepts that they contained.
The Great Chinese Gardens shows both the visual splendours of
China's finest gardens (in stunning original photography and with
a full text) and also explains their ideas and techniques in simple
terms. Now every gardener, architect or designer can understand
China's garden heritage, and be inspired to use it to dramatic effect.