Garden-Related Terminology

The Chinese terms relating to gardens are defined in the glossary in Sugimura Yuzo’s Chugoku no niwa (Chinese gardens) as follows:

Yuan Fruit orchard Pu Vegetable garden

You Pen in which fowl and livestock are raised, or any fenced-in garden

Yuan (A different character, with the same pronuncia­tion as yuan above) This character came into frequent use for garden names during the Han dynasty (206 b. c.-a. d. 9), starting with the Qin-dynasty (221-206 B. c.) Shang-lin yuan. During the Zhou dynasty (1122-770 b. c.), the char­acters pu and you were used widely, but from the time of the Han dynasty these were no longer used in association with royal pleasure grounds. In later periods, both charac­ters for yuan were used.

Jin yuan (literally, “forbidden garden”) Used as a term for Imperial gardens from the time of the start of the Han dynasty.

Hua yuan (literally, “flower garden”) The term used for common gardens.1

Updated: October 5, 2015 — 6:56 am