A Journey to Master of the Nets Garden
A Chinese old saying goes like that Jiangnan (literally meaning the south of the Yangtze River) Gardens surpass other gardens in the world and Suzhou Gardens surpasses other gardens in Jiangnan. After my visit to Suzhou Garden, I believe it is true. Suzhou gardens feature with their own gardening art of rockery piling, water streamlining, architecture designing, and plant growing as well as delicate decoration of perforated windows and colored pavement. Master of the Nets Garden, as small as 5,334 square meters, fully shows the art of Suzhou Gardens. Great ancient gardens professor Chen Congzhou (陈从周) once said that the Master of the Nets Garden was the perfect garden in pocket size. Why it can get such a highly regarded prize. Explore this secrete with me!
Crossing a small lane, I got to the Master of the Nets Garden. After I passed the front gate, I visited four buildings in the axis successively, including Sedan Chair Hall, the Hall of 10,000 Volumes, the Beauty Within Reach Tower and the Five Peaks Library. The Hall of 10,000 Volumes is the main hall with majestic building and elegant decoration. The brick carvings in the gateway of this hall are quite amazing and delicate. These carvings present two famous Chinese play story, one is Congratulating on Guo Ziyi’s Birthday (meaning longevity and good fortune) and the other is Emperor Wenwang’s visit to Virtuous and Talented Person (meaning integrity and ability). These figures are lifelike and interesting.
Then I turn to the Peony Study which is replicated at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. It is a small courtyard with antique building. Either its building or the romantic atmosphere it creates is the essence of the whole garden. The rockery, spring and pavilion all take advantage of the compact area to show its charm fully. I closed my eyes and imagine how beautiful it will be when the spring comes and the peonies blossom.
Leaving the impressive yard, I reached to the exceedingly fascinating and splendid inner garden. Focusing on the pond, there were pavilions, rockeries and green plants coming into my eyes accidentally. I can’t believe that such a full-equipped garden is hiding in such a pocket-sized garden. As the wind blowing on my face gently, the landscaped reflected in the wrinkling water and the tourist shuttling back and forth by my side, I completely immersed in the man-made nature and forgot to go forward. However, I can’t stop here. This garden is no longer the place to stay or live in but the beauty to admire and remember.
I got to the next attraction – the Washing Cap-Ribbon Pavilion located in the south of the central lotus pond and close to the Cloudy Mountain. Decorated with the white wall, perforated windows and two big trees, it matched with the water naturally. The waterside of the Washing Cap-Ribbon Pavilion is open to the north and the scenery seen from it enjoys a sunny exposure. In addition, it avoids the direct sunlight and it is quit cool while tourists appreciate the scenery indoors. The Washing Cap-Ribbon Pavilion can also act as a stage over the water. Have a night tour containing the Night Garden and you will get an unforgettable experience.
One garden cannot be called as Suzhou Garden without a bridge. Though the Master of the Nets Garden is diminutive, it never fails to embody the characteristics of the classical gardens of Suzhou. There came the Leading to Quietude Bridge which is shorter than 2.4 meters. However, its beauty is not constrained in its little size. It is well appointed with exquisite bridge railings, stone steps and bridge opening which gave much delight.
Why the Master of the Nets Garden is the perfect garden? The answer becomes clear for me as my tour ends. Are you attracted by the Master of the Nets Garden? Why not view it in person!
If you are interested in more Suzhou Tours including elegant Suzhou Gardens and enchanting water-towns, you can head to our Suzhou Tours with different experiences. Feel free to contact us if you need any help.