Monday, October 15, 2012

Some bamboo structures from Suzhou

Wonderfully organic bamboo protection for an old Wisteria wine that climbs up a arbor in the Humble Administrator's Garden, Zhuōzhèng Yuán, in Suzhou.

I've always loved the way the Japanese use bamboo in their gardens. They build some amazingly beautiful, architectural bamboo constructions to protect plants from snow, or use it for pergolas, arbors, gates, fences and other elements in their gardens in a deliciously elegant way. While in Suzhou, some lovely bamboo structures, just as beautiful as their Japanese counterparts, caught my eye, so I wanted to share them with you. As bamboo plays such a huge role in the Chinese gardens, these elements blend in so seamlessly, not distracting from the whole but still forming their own, beautiful detail in the whole.
A beautiful umbrella support for a climbing rose, Rosa Banksiae var. normalis with a lovely cinnamon bark, also in the Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuōzhèng Yuán). I would love to have this kind of structure in my garden and drink tea under it... My visit was accompanied by thousands of Chinese visitors spending their Golden Week in Suzhou, so it was very difficult to get photos without any people in them... this guy really seemed determined to be photographed, as he stood in his position while I waited, and waited... and when I finally took my picture and gave up, he left immediately afterwards. Garden photography definitely asks for patience!
Low bamboo fences were used everywhere to protect the gardens from the crowds; unfortunately, they were often not enough to keep them off sensitive plants and details (also in the Humble Administrator's Garden).
Another beautifully architectural arbor shading the working area in the Humble Administrator's Garden, with hundreds of potted azaleas.
A lighter but elegant version of a bamboo arbor that supports a climbing rose, this time in the Great Wave Pavilion, Cāng Làng Tíng - more about it tomorrow.


James Golden said...

I've been tempted. We have huge stands overtaking parts of the forests in our area. So it's almost "natural" so to speak. But it does look rather alien in western NJ.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

I know, James, I had trouble even planting bamboo in my garden in Sweden and in Seattle, despite loving it so much, it just felt so decidedly oriental. But maybe you could just "test" it, as you have material available and see how it goes? It is all biodegrable (sp.?), so no harm to try...?