Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(716 words)

Chinese gardens differ substantially from the European gardening traditions. In Europe, the central notion is the contrast between man and nature in the Biblical sense of "replenish the earth and subdue it". The main idea of the Chinese garden, on the other hand, is that man and nature are not opposites but parts within a larger unity. A European gardening tradition developed with the kitchen gardens of medieval monasteries, while its origins can be traced back to the strictly geometrical garden…

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Hennig, Karl, “Gardens”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 02 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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