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Classical Chinese Garden Planned for United States National Arboretum

10 November 2004
Proposed Chinese Garden

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Under Secretary Joseph Jen recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Yang Jiechi, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States and Madam Jiang Zehui, President of the Chinese Academy of Forestry and Leading member of the State Forestry Administration of China, for the construction of a classical Chinese garden at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

"This Chinese garden will be a wonderful addition to the world-class display gardens already at the Arboretum," Veneman said. "The new garden will deepen the American people's understanding of Chinese garden culture, and provide research opportunities to study Chinese plants and flowers. Upon completion this will be the finest Chinese garden outside of China."

The MOU is between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, which will cooperatively construct the garden as a gift from the Chinese people to the American people. The Chinese partner will donate all main structures, rockeries, furniture and art objects. It will stand as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

The 12-acre Jiangnan-style garden will be based on an original design developed by a joint team of designers from China and the United States. While the details are still being developed, one area of the garden will include a small pond and traditional Chinese buildings with Ming- and Ching-style hardwood furniture, calligraphy and painting scrolls on the walls, and a traditional boat house adjacent to a 1.3-acre lake.

The second area will include a two-story teahouse and an exhibit hall for paintings, calligraphy and other Chinese artwork. The third area will comprise a Peony Pavilion overlooking the garden; a Fragrance Pavilion, which will also house authentic Chinese goldfish; and a Whispering Pavilion, which will include a Chinese white pagoda

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