Thursday 5 October 2023

Chinese Scholar's Garden


It was such a sunny day yesterday that I visited the Hamilton Gardens for a walk. 

I especially wanted to visit the Chinese Scholar’s Garden (also known as the Garden of Retreat-in-Flowing-Happiness) so I could see the wisteria in bloom.

This garden follows the Taoist tradition and portrays a miniature of the cosmos (mountains, lakes, cliffs etc), where scholars could relax, meditate, write poems, play music and so on.

A short walk leads down to the Blossom Court where one can enter the Arbour of Lingering Fragrance.  Jasmine grows freely over the arbour frame and the scent can be heavenly.

Exiting from the Arbour through a Moon Gate, the Moon & Lily Lake and the Wisteria Bridge come into view.

Unfortunately the wisteria was not in bloom, although it was in other parts of the garden.  I am wondering if perhaps it had been severely pruned this last year and was still in recovery mode.

I found this photo, taken in 2019, to give an idea of what it can look like.

The walk continues over the Wisteria Bridge and on to the Island of Whispering Birds (don’t you just love all the names?) before crossing the Willow Bridge and entering the Bamboo Walk.

At the top of the hill, can be found the Celestial Turtle of Taihu Lake, presented to Hamilton by its Chinese sister-city, Wuxi.

Nearby is the Golden Pavilion, a great place to stop for a while before heading back down to the garden’s exit.

I also wandered around a couple more gardens, but those can wait for another day 😊




  1. Yes, I do like the lovely names like Arbour of Lingering Fragrance. So pretty. GM

  2. Such a wonderful asset you have there Margaret - as non-residents we really won't be able to afford to go next year when they start charging to enter... That is a beautiful garden, as only the Chinese can create. They have a unique perspective on gardens.

  3. A beautiful place to wander. And lovely for meditation too! Love the names, so descriptive

  4. I love the floor in the blossom court. It reminds me of a William Morris print.

  5. Where are the koi fish? It is not a Chinese Garden without Koi!

    1. There were quite a few of them swimming around in the Lake, but my photos weren't very good!

  6. What a lovely way to while away a few hours on a spring day. It is a beautiful place!

  7. A lovely garden and lovely names!

  8. Looks like a beautiful day, and the garden is gorgeous!

  9. Lovely photos Margaret, I do like the turtle/tortoise.


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