The oldest gardens are probably the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, whose origins go back to the end of the 16th century. Although it covers less than 500 m2 it is intensively detailed, with high peaks rising to 7 m, dells, paths, caves, stone houses, ravines, precipices, ridges and cliff.
Celebrated for its wonderful limestone mountain, the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, covering only 2,180 square meters, enjoys the same reputation as other famous garden in China. According to the historical records, the limestone mountain was designed and piled up by the great Qing master Gu Yuliang (1764 A.D–1830 A.D). Within an area of less than 500 square meters, the man-made mountain seems to be spontaneous an uncontrived, possessing high peaks about 7M), dells, pathways, carverns, stone houses, stone teps, ravines, precipices, gullies, bridges and cliffs. Like a free hand brushwork in Chinese painting characterized by vivid expression and bold outline, it ranks first among all existing man-made mountains in Chinese gardens. More information about China Tour in chinatourguide.com.
The name of this garden during the ownership of King Qian of Guangling, in the period of the Five Dynasties, was Jingu garden . During the late Daoguang period of the Qing dynasty, the garden belonged to Mr Wang, and was called the Yi Garden. The garden’s area is not large – 0.1 hectare. The entire garden is based on mountains, with ponds added,and fully embodies a Suzhou garden’s splendour of piling rocks and dividing waters. It has a small area, and contains the aesthetic artistic conception of Chinese traditional mountain and water paintings and poetry. The structural characteristics of the artistic conception of a classical Chinese garden are thus: In reality there is emptiness, and emptiness derives from reality. As one pavilion and one garden can create a limitless space by use of a special environment, thus giving a rich experience, the artistic handling of a garden’s mountains and waters condences the splendour of natural mountains and waters, giving the feeling of vastness, endlessness and magnificence.
The rockery of the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty exempliefies this succesfully. Even though this rockery only occupies 0.033 hectare, with a height of less than 7 metres, it embodies the feeling of multiple mountains, expressing mountain-like sceneries of rolling hills and steep cliffs, precipices, twisting ravines, deep valleys, etc. This rockery is a miniature of high mountain ridges, famous rivers and great mountains.