The Plum Garden is located on the west side of the Linwu Cave scenic spot in the Xishan Mountain scenic area of Wu County in the state-rank scenic resort and historic site of Taihu, crossing the Huanshan highway. It was originally the "xiaotaoyuan" site of Xu Dianyi, a Jinshi (a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations in feudal China) at the end of the Qing Dynasty. In 1912, the garden was transformed into the private garden of the Rong family. Since thousands of plum trees were planted there, the garden was named "Mei Garden". As it lies at the back of the Longshan Mountain and faces the Taihu Lake, the garden layout is characterized by the unique style of decorating the mountain with plums and decorating plums with mountain. The variety of plum trees reaches as many as thirty or forty, the famous ones including ink plum and Longyou plum, etc. A thousand orange osmanthus have been newly planted in the garden.
There are beautiful sceneries such as Tianxin Platform, Xiangxuehai (a sea of fragrant and white plum blossoms), Qingfen Pavilion, Nianqu Tower, Zhaohe Pavilion, Xiaoluofu and Huoran Cave, of which the Nianqu Tower is the best one. With walls red and roofs green, the Nianqu Tower is a three-storey hexagon brick tower as high as 18 meters. It was built by Rong Zongjing and his brother, Rong Desheng, who are national industrialists and businessmen, in memory of the 80th netherworld birthday of their mother in 1930.
The best season to visit Mei Garden is when the plums are blooming in profusion in early spring. At that time, seen from the Nianqu Tower and Tianxin Platform, the plum mountain is blazing with a sea of flowers as white as snow. Xiangxuehai and haughty plums are continuous like clouds. You can also linger over the graceful figure and pleasant fragrance of the Mei Garden in Nanmu Hall and Qingfen Pavilion.
Well-known for the ten thousand mu of Plum Sea, the Mei Garden scenic area incorporates the natural and rural characteristic of thatched household hidden past a small bridge and below the bridge a creek running, which is suitable for viewing and admiring all the year around. The naturally curved paths and grey ancient architecture of the scenic area are hidden in the fruit woods. There are superior flowering and fruiting plum trees introduced from Japan and trees of orange, peach, plum, persimmon, gingko and megranate planted at intervals. It has the four thematic virescence and sightseeing area of Junzi (gentleman) Garden, three friends in cold weather, Sixiu Garden and Winter Plum. Its central landscapes include tea house, tablet corridor, cultural and historical exhibition room and leisure grass slope. The whole garden is composed of five areas and one line. It forms a definitely divided, organic and unified agricultural and forest ecological garden through the guide of paths, water body and axis view.