China Peony Festival Tour April 2009


Garden of Master of Nets Garden, a garden designed for harmony and tranquility during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), this garden is reputed to be the most well-preserved in Suzhou and should not be missed. It has three distinct sections. The integral buildings afford you access to any part of the garden from each of their rooms. This type of garden was built for relaxation and to entertain guests. It is found on the world cultural heritage site list and often remains open at night so that visitors can attend theatrical performances and enjoy night views of the garden. Today the Master-of-Nets Garden has 22 buildings, 2 doors with richly carved earthen ornamentation,15 plateaux, 9 parallel couplets,15 brick and stone carvings, 32 stelae, and 8 rare species of old trees, namely Sabina chinensis ,Pinus bungeana,etc. falling into 6 catalogues.

I always delight in visiting this garden….in fact there have been very few gardens that I do not find delight in… the intricate and hand laid stones on the walkways with the grasses spilling over are so sensual and pleasing to the eye. The softly shaded colours or the iris against the dark green and poker straight leaves, the azaleas looking up to the morning sun…it is truly a sensual garden and a joy to wander in.

I had given this little girl this pink pom pom and ribbon gift and you could see the delight in her eyes…

Garden of Harmony

This garden was originally the site of the Fu Garden of Wu Guan, a minister during the Ming dynasty. Gu Wenbin, the Governor of Ningbo-Shaoxing region, purchased the site in 1874 and expanded it. The 0.6 hectare garden is divided by a double corridor into eastern and western sections. The eastern section, the original site of the Fu Garden, features a compound of courtyards and delicate buildings such as the "Winding Jade Pavilion", the "All-season Grace Pavilion", "Su Dongpo's Lute Chamber", and the "Rock Fetish Pavilion". The western section, an expansion by the Gu family, is centered around a pond, with rocky hills and grottos on the west and a series of halls on the southwest.

Here again was a garden to savour and enjoy…the grasses spilling out for those ancient rocks was beautiful. The splashes of colour from the azaleas to shock you into looking at them. We even got to enjoy some traditional music while there…magical. There is also a little tea room which you could enjoy tea…I cannot think of a nicer place to enjoy a cup of tea.

Later that evening after dinner we enjoyed a birthday cake I had ordered for one of our guests…the topper on it was fantastic…you light the center and it unfolds with all the candles lit to reveal this flower…needless to say we had to find more the next day and everyone wanted to take them home!



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row