Bao's Family Garden

Bao's Family Garden
"Blowing Wind" in
Bao's Family Garden

Built in the Qing Dynasty (1644~1911), Bao's Family Garden is in Shexian, Huangshan, Anhui Province, about 500 yards  (460 meters) away from Tangyue Memorial Archway. It was one of the three most famous private gardens in southern China in the Qianlong Period (1735~1796) and Jiaqing Period (1796~1820), the others being Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou and Li Garden in Wuxi. Nowadays, it is best known for its potted landscapes of different sizes and shapes.
 
The potted landscape is one of the traditional Chinese arts. Plants and stones are arranged in a pot to form beautiful miniature landscapes. They are valued as "solid paintings" and "silent poetries".

With an area of about 53.7 acres (21.7 hectares) and housing nearly 10,000 potted landscapes, Bao's Family Garden is to miniascape lovers what Mecca is to Muslims. Featuring quaintness, vigor and richness, the miniascape here is in Huizhou style, which springs from the Tang Dynasty (618~907) and become popular in the Ming Dynasty (1368~1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644~1911). Most of the potted landscapes are made of stones, flowers and trees. Additionally, they are given names according to their characteristics. Thus we have the "Blowing Wind", with all the tree leaves growing toward one side, looking like the tree is being blown by a fierce wind.  We also have the "Dancing Lovers" consisting of two half-trees, and looking like two lovers facing each other and dancing together. 

 Some of the most famous potted landscapes in the garden:

 The treasure of Bao's Family Garden, "Southern Charm" is a large banyan miniascape with a height of about 4.2 feet (1.3 meters). It has been cultivated for more than 200 years. It was once lost. In 1999, the garden keeper bought it back from the Kunming World Exposition.

A potted landscape in Bao's Family Garden
"Southern Charm" in the Garden

 "New Life of Withered Tree" is a ginkgo tree miniascape. The original tree was about 100 feet (30 meters) high. After a big fire, the trunk died, but the root strongly survived and new branches grew out. When Bao's Family Garden was renovated, the root and new branches were kept to make a miniascape. After years of careful cultivation, it has grown into "a ginkgo wood", showing visitors the miracle of life.

 "Great Beauty of the Land" is a huge potted landscape which is about 66 feet (20 meters) long, and 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) wide. It is composed of more than 100 independent potted landscapes of trees and stones, showing peaks, slopes, cliffs, caves, pools, waterfalls, pavilions, bridges, and so on, looking like the beautiful lands of China.

Additionally, there are some other sites inside the garden you can visit. You may appreciate the paintings and calligraphies in the Exhibition Hall of Anhui Culture, admire various plants in the Four-Seasons Garden, appreciate the pinewoods or relax on the Entrance Square, see exquisite root carvings as well as wood carvings in the museum. Also, to get an overview of the garden, you can go up to the Sightseeing Pavilion.

 Transportation:
Bao's Family Garden is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Shexian, and about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Huangshan City.

Take a Tunxi-Shexian bus at Huangshan Passenger Bus Station to Shexian. Duration is about 30 minutes and ticket fare is CNY10. Upon arrival, take bus line 2 to the garden directly, or take a private car to get there at about CNY 15 per person.
 
Admission Fee CNY 100, including Tangyue Memorial Archways and Bao's Family Garden.
* Children of 3.6~ 4.6 feet (1.1~ 1.4 meters) enjoy half price tickets.
* Children below 3.6 feet (1.1 meters) enjoy free tickets.
Opening Hours 07:30-17:30