Image: Hangzhou West Lake, 2011, Josepha Richard, All right reserved
New approaches in Chinese garden history, conference abstract
19th June 2015, at the University of Sheffield
Georges Métailié, CNRS/MNHN, Paris
“Two scholars-gardeners and their plants, Gao Lian and Zhao Han, end of Ming and beginning of Qing dynasties.”
By using two scholars-gardeners Gao Lian and Zhao Han as an example, it is possible to show how their gardens were considered from the point of view of their owners. These authors were gardening amateurs who frequently qualified themselves as ‘flower addicts’, huapi 花癖, and celebrated their gardens as places that provided a wealth of experiences. First of all, they selected plants for particular qualities; and as gardeners they were well aware of horticultural methods required to tend them. Their remarks on individual plants give an interesting account of the ornamentals suitable for gardens of two different regions of China: Shaanxi for Chao Han and Zhejiang for Gao Lian. The climatic differences induce different strategies and, eventually, determine final selection of plants. An analysis reveals how ultimately personal aesthetics define the general appearance of the gardens.
Find the bibliography of Georges' books here.
Among his contributions in English:
"Biology and Biological Technology, Part 4, Traditional Botany: An Ethnobotanical Approach" in Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 6.
"Graphics and Text in the Production of Technical Knowledge in China (Sinica Leidensia)"