Chinese Scholars Garden in the Staten Island Botanical Garden, New York. The garden is 1 of only 3 of its kind in the United States. The New York Chinese Scholars Garden features unique rockery that resemble mountains that used to inspire the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks & scholars. There are eight pavillions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks including a fifteen-foot tall formation that towers over the central courtyard.
The Garden’s design is based on the Suzhou Couple’s Retreat Garden built in the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. It was designed by Zu Gwongwu and is the only authentic scholar’s garden in the United States. A team of 40 Chinese artists and craftsmen spent a year in China creating the Garden’s components and then another six months on Staten Island as craftsmen-in-residence at Snug Harbor to complete construction. Snug Harbor partnered with the City of New York, the Landscape Architecture Company of China, the Metropolitan Chinese American Community and hundreds of volunteers to build the Garden, which opened in 1999.