Kay Johnston 'Heritage Chinese Gardens'

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Thursday, 29 May 2014 - 12:30pm

Kay will introduce people to a brief history of classical Scholar Gardens, most commonly known in Australia as “Chinese” gardens. In their planning and design they combine elements of Chinese history, Daoist thought, philosophy, symbolism, literature and poetry, and, of course, the landscape planning and design, and careful selection of plants, that has made them appreciated and enjoyed for centuries. Pictures from the Suzhou gardens will be shown as examples

Kay Johnston has no formal training, but a lifelong interest, in both gardens and history. With these interests it is no surprise that she has, for many years, been an active member of the Australian Garden History Society. While mainly focusing on Australian history and gardens, the "otherness" of Chinese gardens intrigued when Kay went Suzhou in 2010 to visit a number of the famous historical gardens there, particularly the depth of their history, the concepts of their design, and their relationship to literature. This is the basis of this talk.