Suzhou: May 21st 2014.
After lunch, we visited two gardens in Suzhou. With 100% hindsight, I should have adjusted the ‘timestamp’ on my camera, for I found it difficult to decide where one ended and the other started. So, I hope you’ll forgive me if, in the videos and slide shows I’ll post in the coming weeks, one sort of segues into the other.
But, first was the ‘Master of the Nets’ garden. The ‘Master of the Nets’ was probably a fisheries minister of some kind; this visit was followed in quick succession by the ‘Humble Administrator’s Garden. Possibly, though, the Humble Administrator wasn’t as humble as all that; he certainly outranked a Master of the Nets, for his garden is much bigger.
They’re popular with both local people and tourists but, like the Summer Palace gardens in Beijing and the Snow Goose Pagoda gardens in Xi’an, it sort of absorbed then all.
Both gardens, with their lotus ponds, bridges and buildings are strongly reminiscent of the Willow Pattern … which I hesitate to mention, because that pattern, and the story behind it, originated in the potteries of Staffordshire … and is about as Chinese as I am!