These days I am craving some serenity (Our kids’ school year is over and the summer chaos of camps, summer school and entertainment has begun.), so I thought I’d put together a photo essay of the first garden I visited in Suzhou, a city of famed classic Chinese gardens, about 1.5 hours from Shanghai. King He Lu, who died in 496 B.C., is supposedly buried here, and according to legend a white tiger came to guard his resting place; thus it is named Tiger Hill. Here a view of the leaning Yunyan Pagoda on top of the hill, as seen through one on the park’s entrances.
Here, that same gazebo’s roof spotted through the windows and doorway of one of the garden rooms at Tiger Hill. The only thing one could compare these rooms to would be a sun porch, except that they are not necessarily attached to another building. They feature windows all around, often with elaborate lattice work that frame the view beyond.
Here a close-up of that same roof with all the festival’s flowers in the background.
Along the passageway by the garden room, a white washed wall features another window framing nature. Our guide explained that none of these lattice patterns repeat themselves. Each window in a classic Chinese garden is unique.
I loved these old walls, and here the interplay of ivy vines and tree branch shadows, although clearly that engraving is rather new.
Commerce must not be forgotten. A shop on top of Tiger Hill with a view of the Yunyan Pagoda through the archway.
Here you can really see the tilt, and some people having fun with it, and those flowers again.
Tiger Hill lies on the outskirts of town, and the city’s less picturesque industrial sprawl can be seen through these budding magnolia tress on top of the hill.
The moat around Tiger Hill
A slice of life in contemporary China: Fishermen sit under that silver umbrella, hoping for a catch from that thousand-year-old canal. Their nets swing from the old wall with its lattice-work windows (notice that each one has a different pattern), and laundry is hung out to dry from a rather utilitarian building right behind the wall.
I shall wrap up these impressions with this more typical (because serene) shot of the canal around Tiger Hill. In the back one of the old stone bridges.