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Harmony, health and recreation in the Chinese garden

Modern China is a huge land of profound changes. Especially the big cities seem to change their face almost overnight. It is no wonder that the Chinese are looking for their own small private islands of harmony and peace.

The Confucian concept of harmony is omnipresent in Chinese gardens. For them the garden is a place to relax with friends, drink tea and practice Tai Chi. Therefore, the Chinese favour the social garden trend, but also kitchen gardening is very popular. According to the Chinese garden philosophy, the garden is not just a place for the soul, but also for the stomach. It is so important for them to grow their own herbs and vegetables that they even grow it indoors or on the balcony, if there is not enough space for it in the garden. As they want to do it properly, Chinese gardeners – above all women – spent almost a fortune on organic gardening books. More than ever before people in China are not only exposed to traditional Chinese influences, but also to those from western cultures. More than anywhere else, this can be seen in the shape of their gardens. Following the western workout trend, the garden has also become a mixture of an outdoor gym and a sort of playground. Those, who do not have a garden of their own, like to do their exercises in community gardens. It has all to do with harmony and health for body and mind. Therefore, it is also very important that the shape of a garden pleases the eyes. Decorations with sculptures or beautiful stones are almost a must. Lawns are considered a luxury, for space is scarce in China. Thus, gardening tools are low-tech. In most cases simple shovels, hand shears and scissors suffice the needs of the average Chinese gardener.

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