A classical Chinese garden in the heart of Washington – China society and culture news from April 28, 2017
A 12-acre field at the U.S. National Arboretum, two miles away from the U.S. Capitol, will be transformed into a Chinese garden with all the elements of a traditional Chinese landscape by the end of this decade, the Washington Post reports.
The lavish garden will feature peonies, a large central lake, and grand pavilions, most of which will be re-creations of historic gardens in Yangzhou, a city in Jiangsu along the Yangtze River built by wealthy merchants during the Qing dynasty (1644–1912). To be named the National China Garden, the project has long been a dream of Chinese-American leaders in the United States, but it was not until China agreed to cover the entire bill of $100 million that the project was greenlighted.
When the panda Bao Bao returned to China four years after her birth at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the need for a symbol of cultural exchange became especially evident. “The Chinese don’t have anything in Washington to put to use,” said Tom Elias, a former director of the arboretum and an early advocate of the garden project.
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