The Ouyuan Garden was listed in cultural relics unit under Jiangsu protection, as well as the world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Brief introduction to scenic spot :
Originally named She Garden, the Ou Garden was built by Lu Jin, an official of Baolin, in the reign of Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty. She Garden was named after a sentence“ Spending time on the garden becomes my hobby.” of a poem “Coming and Going Back” written by Tao Yuanming, also known as “Xiaoyulin”.The layout of the Ou Garden is very appropriate. The Yellowstone Rockery is the theme of the entire garden which is piled naturally and situated in an appropriate position. It is one of the yellowstone rockeries well-built in the garden of Suzhou and worth visiting and lingering here as it is steep and imposing. It was called “the Ou Garden(耦园)” as there were two gardens respectively in the east and the west of the residence. The character “耦(ou)” means two people cultivate in the land together. “耦” in Chinese sounds similar to “偶( a couple)”, implying the meaning of a couple living together in seclusion.
Covering an area of four mu, the eastern garden is centralized on the rockery, supplemented by the pool. The garden features the most beautiful scenic spots and is laid out appropriately. The principal structure is a hall with double-eave roofs and faces the south, which is rare in the design of the garden of Suzhou. At the southeastern corner of the garden, three cottages are called “the Chenqu Thatched Cottage” as they are made of a group of double-roofed and multi-storied buildings.
The total area of the western garden is much smaller and it takes the study and the Zhilao House as the center, in front of which there is a spacious and bright platform and at the rear of which there is a quite and elegant courtyard. Behind the rockery, stones and trees, there is a study; in the south of the west garden, there is also a yard in irregular shape. The southwestern area is studded with rockeries, flowers, trees and stone and appears tranquil, zigzag and interesting.
The major scenic spot of the entire garden is the Yellowstone Rockery built in the front of the Chengqu Thatched Cottage. The stones of the rockery are the same in size, and the technique of piling rockery is realistic and natural. The eastern part of the rockery is bigger and the stone path in front of the thatched cottage leads to the platform in the eastern side of the rockery and the stone chamber; in the east of the platform, the tie of the hill ascends and ends in a precipice. Visitors can descend to a pool that is on the foot of the steep precipice by a passage in the southeastern side of the precipice which is the most imposing scenery of the rockery. The western part of the rockery is smaller and gradually descends to west. The hillside slops gently and ends in the right wall of the Chengqu Thatched Cottage.
A passage connects the eastern part and the western part of the rockery. The steep side of the rockery is in the east of the pool and is just like the precipice. The size of the rockery and the width of the water surface match appropriately and are symmetric in space. There are not any pavilions on the rockery, but a dozen kinds of flowers and trees are interspersed on the soil paved on the top and the back of the rockery and swing with the wind, which gives people a feeling of lingering mountain and forest. A zigzag bridge spans above the pool and the pool water runs from north to east. On the south of the pool, a pavilion called the Shanshui Pavilion is built above the water and is opposite to the Chengqu Thatched Cottage, which forms the beautiful scenic spot that takes the rockery as its major part.