Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Story of China

I have been watching The Story of China on PBS and it is fantastic. I have to watch them a couple of times to take all the information in ;) The last episode was talking about the gardens of a palace and one place caught my attention so I had to go investigate. The description was "Pavilion of Fragrant Snow and Azure Cloud". I mean really, how does THAT not stop you in your tracks? Humble Administrator's Garden had many Pavilions and honestly, I wish I could visit each one at peak season and just sit there for a day and take in the fragrances.

Celestial Spring Tower: An octagonal tower with flying eves, built around a preexisting well called the celestial spring. 

Fragrant Sorghum Hall: A five bay hall open on four sides with hipped-gable roofline. The name comes from sorghum fields that once existed near the garden. The windows are decorated with boxwood carvings of scenes from Romance of the Western Chamber. 

Orchid and Snow Hall: A three bay hall internally divided by a lacquer screen engraved with a map of the garden. Orchid and snow are symbolic of ritual purity. 

Pavilion of the Leaning against Rainbow: An attached square pavilion with hipped gable roofline and flying eves built in front of the main entry to the central garden. This pavilion is the vantage point for a borrowed view of North Temple Pagoda.  

Pavilion of Lotus: A terrace open on two sides with a hipped gable roofline and a portico on all four sides. It overlooks a lotus pond and was named for the verse by Yang Wangli, "To the horizon green lotus leaves seem to extend infinitely; under the sun reddish lotus flowers go bright scarlet." A scholar stone is mounted in the middle.  

Fragrant Isle: A landboat structure, named for the smell of the lotus blossoms in Surging Wave Pond  

Listening to the Sound of Rain Hall: Named for the sound of rain on banana trees. It anchors an enclosed courtyard with rockery and pond. 

Peony suffruiticosa Pavilion: Also called the Embroidered Silk Pavilion, it is a square pavilion open on three sides. It is sited on top of a yellowstone rockery and forms an ideal vantage point for viewing the islands.

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