"The garden ... private or imperial, is not merely a pleasing man-made artifact adorned with a pond, rocks, buildings, and plants. It is a piece of art that reflects the ideals of it's owner-designer, the joy and sorrow of its inhabitants, the vitality, tranquility, and beauty of the earth..."
- Joseph Cho Wang, The Chinese Garden
The National China Garden is designed after the private gardens of the Ming and Qing Dynasties found south of the Yangtze River, which show "a highly developed art of garden construction" and serve as works of art.
- Lou Qingxi, Chinese Gardens
Five Key Elements in Classical Chinese Gardens *
山石：中国文人喜在家中庭院堆山叠石 。在中国古典园林中大而多孔的山石通常被认为是最有价值的 。永恒的山石象征着古代道教思想讲求的修养身心，自然恬澹之所。
Chinese scholars used rocks as art in their homes. Large and porous garden rocks are often considered to be among the most valuable in a classical Chinese garden. These ageless objects symbolize the dwellings of Taoist immortals.
Water is considered to be the central component of a classical Chinese garden, serving as a balance for the other elements found in the garden. The best sites for classical Chinese gardens are on the edges of lakes with views of the mountains.
建筑：通过建筑精巧布局将一个中国古典园林分成 一处或多处景观。 建筑设计突出庭院和庭外门窗观景视点。
The arrangement of structures divides a classical Chinese garden into smaller sections with one or more scenic views. The buildings are designed to accent the garden with windows and doorways that frame scenic views in their courtyards and beyond.
Certain plants are favored for classical Chinese gardens because of their association with overcoming the limitations of ordinary life. The pine, cypress, plum and bamboo are favorites because of their ability to grow in harsh weather conditions and rough terrain.
Garden design is considered to be an art form in China, but one will also find other art forms like calligraphy, painting, poetry, dance, flower arranging and viewing stones in a classical Chinese garden.
* Courtesy of USNA
* 资料来源美国国家植物园 (USNA)