Real World Gardener Part II Chinese Gardens in Design Elements

March 30th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


Chinese Gardens Part II


Last week we heard some of the history behind Chinese gardens and some of the different types of gardens.
Imperial gardens are on a vast scale with a lot of pavement, very old and gnarled trees.
Monastic gardens were more like a parkland with areas for growing food.
But what about real Chinese gardens for ordinary folk?
Today we continue with part two of what makes a Chinese garden and you’ll probably want to know how you can create one yourself?

There are some things you already might associate with Chinese gardens like Lion statues and water features, but what are the elements that make the difference between Imperial, Monastic and residential Chinese gardens? Louise Brooks interviews Peter Nowland, landscape architect with Sydney Foreshore Authority, and horticulturalist, Andrew Meade in part two, Chinese Gardens.

1-IMG_6332+cloud+rock+at+bottom+of+bridgphoto by Louise Brooks-Chinese Gardens

photo by Louise Brooks-Chinese Gardens Darling Harbour, Sydney

Darling Harbour, Sydney


To create a Chinese garden you have to have water, rocks and of course plants.
Water is the giver of life and the Ying or female part of the garden.

Then there's the rock or Yang-the masculine part of the garden. rock in China is usually limestone, but you can use rock that's endemic to your region, such as granite or sandstone.
The plants are specific, for longevity, luck and wisdom.

So many elements that you can add to your garden from zig zag bridges to stop negative energy, to thinned out bamboo to create a bamboo forest rather than just a solid dense clump of bamboo.

What about some cloud stones at the bottom of bridges and pavilions, or in our case a pergola. Cloud stones are to lift you up as if you were standing on a cloud?


Lotus flowers are of course is about symbolism of life but you would need a rather large water feature to fit them in.



If you have any questions about Chinese gardens, why not drop us a line to. or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675,

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