The Chinese Garden of Friendship: An Unfolding Journey

Un Unfolding Journey

After visiting the Powerhouse Museum to be part of the final exhibition before it closed for years, to be renovated, we bought a take away coffee and walked into Darling Harbour to visit The Chinese Garden of Friendship. Something I had not done for years.

We did what the brochure said “Take time to explore the mystery and magic,  allowing the Garden to gradually reveal its many secrets and hidden stories.”

We found a table near the lake in weeping willow shade to have our picnic with our coffee and watched the water dragons around our feet  and pop up on roa rock. We watched a turtle come out of the water and sit on a rock , the gold koi . 

It was lovely to picnic and wander through this small piece of tranquillity in a a busy noisy city. But here nothing is placed by accident. The whole garden  is based on the Taoist principles of Yin-Yang and the five elements of earth, fire, water, metal and wood. 

Chinese  philosophy places a lot on the flow of qi which we translate as energy  or life force and the garden is built with the idea of the flow of qi  as we walked  observing the  bridges, plants, trees,  sculptures, rocks, secret corners, pavilions meandering  stone steps have been meticulously chosen and placed to capture the qi of the five elements, Feng Shui and the universal forces that bind them together.

We experienced the gazing out   from the  mountain, from different perspectives of The Pavilions.  We experienced  the balancing opposites in the garden, rock  defying gravity  the constrasts of bonsai trees and conifers , the sound of cascading water and the stillness of the lake , the short soft mondo grass beneath the sturdy long-stemmed bamboo and the beauty of the large pink lotus lilies flowering on the lake. 

Below the Dragon Wall is the pool of reflection where many years back I had a moment of epiphany . Sitting their for quite awhile pondering the reflection of dragons and the wall  and counting coins it was a shock to suddenly see the clouds floating along in the water. It was one of those moments when you realise what you see is only a minimum of what is there. So easy to   forget we have only a small part of the whole .And it was one of those wow moments as the shallow pool became deeper and deeper

“The jewel of the Garden, The Gurr , also known as The Clear View Pavilion , sits at its highest point. Decorated with a lavish golden roof intricate wood carvings and an ornate lantern symbolising prosperity , it has a perfect view of the whole landscape.