The Garden of Peach Blossom Land that renowned Japanese landscape artist Kazuyuki Ishihara designed for Beijing Expo 2019 is inspired by The Peach Blossom Spring, a famous prose in ancient China. The garden combines the lifestyle close to nature depicted in the prose and the Satoyama landscape of his hometown in the designer’s memories about childhood. Themed on the Peach Blossom Land, it represents the landscapes that are fading away in China or Japan, as well as the beautiful life in which all people live in peace and harmony together with picturesque landscapes.
The design of the garden adopts the technique of “repressing first before extoling” in The Peach Blossom Spring. It uses low stone-laid walls to hide parts of its scenery. A Japanese-style archway leads visitors into the garden. Along a footpath zigzagging through meadows, flowers and trees, they then reach the highest point in the garden, where there is built a Japanese-style octagonal pavilion. One can overlook the entire garden from the pavilion. The majority part of the garden is covered with water, where visitors can enjoy various forms of waterfalls and waterside plants. The water pond retains its natural side, with its artificial design minimizing as much as possible. A footpath surrounds the water pond, symbolizing the “interdependence between mankind and water.”
The garden also features plants in a plethora of colors. The designer uses different colors of plants to demonstrate different seasons, such as peach and Sakura blossoms in spring, mosses, viburnums and crape myrtles that are suitable to appreciate in summer, maple and cherry trees with colored leaves in autumn, and pines, birches, Swida alba Opiz and Korean oaks that remain beautiful in winter. The designer uses multiple tree species with contrasting colors, shapes and hues to create landscapes. For instance, plants with deep-colored leaves and those with light-colored leaves are placed together, and trees with orange leaves and those with red leaves are planted closely. In Japan, looking at forested mountains from the distance, one can see trees in different colors compose various mosaics in budding or autumnal periods. The Garden of Peach Blossom Land also adopts similar mosaic-like composition of colors.
In addition, architecture in the garden involves the exquisite engraving technique unique to Asian carpenters, cement floral designs of Asian masons, Asian-style plant modeling technique, and stonewall laying technique used in ancient cities like Japan’s Edo Castle.
The designer claimed that he not only wants to present a garden to visitors, but also intends to showcase his design philosophy with it. Lying in the heart of everyone is a Peach Blossom Land. Though it may vary in landscape, all demonstrate the aspiration to love nature and be close to green. A beautiful space can make one become gentle and grateful. We need to build landscapes in metropolises that make us remember our hometowns, and such nostalgia inspires peaceful interpersonal relations. Green links people around the world together.