This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Mr. Fortune gives a 'curious description of a Chinese Garden in a recent letter, from which we make the following extracts:
"The plants consist of good specimens of southern Chinese things, all well known in England, such, for example, as Cymbidium sinense. Olea fragrans, Oranges, Roses, Camellias, Magnolias, etc., and, of course, a multitude of dwarf trees, without which no Chinese garden would be considered complete. In the alcove alluded to there are some nice stone seats, which look cool in a climate like that of southern China. The floor of this building is raised a few feet above the ground level, so that the visitor gets a good view of the water and other objects of interest in the garden. That this is a favorite lounge and smoking place with the Chinese, the following Chinese notice, which we found on one of the pillars, will testify: - 'A careful and earnest notice: This garden earnestly requests that visitors will spit betel outside the railing, and knock the ashes of pipes also outside.' Several fine fruit-trees and others are growing near the walks, and afford shade from the rays of the sun. On one of these we read the following: 'Ramblers here will be excused plucking the fruit on this tree.' How exceedingly polite!
'* Near the centre of the garden stands a substantial summer-house, or hall named the ' Hall of Fragrant Plants.' The same notice to smokers and chewers of betel-nut is also put up here; and there is another and a longer one which I must not forget to quote. It is this: ' In this garden the plants are intended to delight the eyes of all visitors; a great deal has been expended in planting and in keeping in order, and the garden is now beginning to yield some return. Those who come here to saunter about are earnestly prayed not to pluck the fruit or flowers, in order that the beauty of the place may be preserved.' And then follows a piece of true Chinese politeness: ' We beg persons who understand this notice to excuse it!' Passing through the Hall of Fragrant Plants, we approached, between two rows of Olea fragrane, a fine ornamental suite of rooms tastefully furnished and decorated, in which visitors are received and entertained. An inscription informs us that this is called the ' Fragrant Hall of the Woo-che tree.' Leaving this place by a narrow door, we observed the following notice: 'saun-terers here will be excused entering.' This apparently leads to the private apartments of the family.
In this side of the garden there is some fine artificial rockwork, which the Chinese know well how to construct, and various summer-houses tastefully decorated, one of which is called the 'Library of Verdant Purity.' Between this part of the garden and the straight walk already noticed there is a small pond or lake for fish and water-lilies. This is crossed by a zigzag wooden bridge of many arches, which looked rather dilapidated".