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From the Lake of Reflected Fragrance to the Pavilion for Washing Away Thoughts to the Isle of Alighting Geese, this gorgeously illustrated volume explores the Huntington's Chinese Garden - Liu Fang Yuan, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance - one of the largest such gardens outside China. With the first phase of construction completed, the garden opened to visitors in early 2008. It resembles those created in seventeenth-century Suzhou, offering awe-inspiring views and architecture and evoking an era when scholars sought quiet, intimate gardens in which to retreat, write poetry, and practice calligraphy, among many other pursuits.
The contributors to "Another World Lies Beyond" discuss the challenges of constructing the garden in Southern California as well as the cultural traditions and aesthetics of Chinese garden design, especially the ways in which the plants and structures engage the imagination of visitors. Inscribed poetic couplets, literary allusions, botanical motifs, and evocative names for structures reveal layers of symbolism for exploration and interpretation. This volume's final essay describes how plants that originated in China - such as the chrysanthemum, the plum, and the camellia - have shaped that country's ancient botanical heritage and have enriched the gardens of both East and West.