|Chinese Scholar’s Garden in Staten Island, New York
|1. Prunus mume Blossom and The Garden
Prunus mume Blossom (梅 花 or MeiHua) ( Prunus (genus name) mume (species name) ) is the
Chinese national flower. One of the cherished virtues of Prunus mume blossom is that it is one of the
earliest flower trees to bloom in very early spring season when the weather is usually still very cold or
even snowing. Chinese songs and poems often associate Prunus mume blossom with snow and cold
踏雪尋梅， 梅花傲霜鬥雪， 冠領群芳， 迎雪吐艷，冰肌玉骨、凌寒
牆角數枝梅，凌寒獨自開。宋 • 王安石
華髮尋春喜見梅，一株臨路雪倍堆。宋 • 王安石
梅須遜雪三分白，雪卻輸梅一段香。 南宋 • 盧梅坡 《雪梅》
雪裡已知春信至，寒梅點綴瓊枝膩。 漁家傲 李清照
Photos of Prunus mume blossom blooming in the snow in New Jersey can be seen at the following
web page: http://www.aaapoe.net/usa004-007.html
The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden ( 寄 興 園 ) in the Staten Island Botanic Garden in Staten
Island, New York is a Chinese SuZhou (江南 蘇 州 ) style garden with many Prunus mume blossom
trees and bamboos. It was designed by a Chinese company (苏州园林设计院) in SuZhou, China.
All the construction material were imported and shipped from SuZhou. A special team of artists and
artisans from SuZhou, China came to Staten Island and spent several months to build this authentic
SuZhou style garden. It is very impressive, especially when all the prunus mume blossom trees are
blooming in March. It was designed to capture the essence of a natural landscape and to produce
harmony through its views and concepts.
Those Prunus mume blossom trees were in full bloom in the week of March 25, 2006. Twenty-eight
members of the 40-Plus Club in New Jersey visited the Chinese Scholar’s Garden in the afternoon of
Saturday March 25, 2006 to enjoy watching the Prunus mume blossom in full bloom as shown in the
following sample pictures.
This is my first experience to see so many Prunus mume blossom trees in full bloom.
Members of 40-Plus Club touring and enjoying the garden and the Prunus mume blossom in full
In ancient China, scholars were often important government administrators. When they retired from
emperor's court, they usually built this style of garden to enjoy and to cherish their retirement life and
to connect with the nature; thus, the name of Chinese Scholar's Garden. The enjoyment of such
classic garden is both a contemplative and sensual experience. It elicits calming of the spirit. It is a
sanctuary for a scholar retired from the stressful and politically intensive environment of emperor's
The pleasant greens of bamboo offers a placid, soothing feeling in the Wandering-In-Bamboo Courtyard.
Courtyard in the garden with a calming Asian fish ponds, garden rocks and the Moon Gate. The
Knowing Fish Pavilion and a bridge are on the left side of the fish pond. The garden contains three
ponds and one waterfall. It is a great place to relax and meditate.
Many colorful fish (錦鯉) swimming leisurely in the fishpond in the courtyard of the garden.
Such relaxing and soothing view of fish often appears in Chinese artistic paintings and poems.
Probably some artists and poets derived their inspirations while enjoying watching such fish
swimming in the water.
2. Location Information
The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden is one of many gardens contained within the Staten Island Botanical
Gardens, located in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, New York. The address of Snug Harbor
Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is:
1000 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301
phone (+1) 718 448 2500 or (718) 285-6506
fax (+1) 718 815 0198
It is at the corner of Richmond Terrace and Snug Harbor Road in Staten Island, New York. It is near the north
shore of Staten Island and is about 2 miles west of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. The main entrance gate
of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is on the Snug Harbor Road. Visitors can drive their cars
through the main entrance gate to park their cars in one of several parking lots inside the garden.
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of New York Chinese Scholar's Garden
There is a collection of architecturally significant 19th century buildings and a Cottage Row of five landmarked
Second Empire Victorian cottages in Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Some of the buildings
and the grounds are used by arts organizations. The entrance to The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden is
Cottage 5 which is a Gift Shop in this Cottage Row. Visitors may purchase entry tickets for the New York
Chinese Scholar’s Garden at this Gift Shop in Cottage 5. Then visitors go out of the back door of this Gift
Shop/Cottage 5 and walk through a short trail to enter The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden.
Map: Click here to see a Garden Map of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
The Cottage Row of 5 cottages is near the center but slightly to the right on this Garden Map. Cottage 5 is on
the top of the vertically aligned 5 cottages on this map.
We thank May Lee for recommending the Chinese Scholar’s Garden during the blooming season of Prunus
mume blossom for the 2006 first spring outing for the 40-Plus Club and thank Elmer Hsu for recommending the
Crown Palace Restaurant in Staten Island for the dinner. Twenty-eight members of the 40-Plus Club enjoyed
very much this tour of the Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the dinner.
Sign of Chinese Scholar's Garden at Entrance Door. Step inside here to meditate, reflect, study, or simply to
enjoy the beautifully simple, tranquil surroundings.
Moon Viewing Pavilion
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的意境。 宋朝大詩人 蘇東坡 留下的名言 “寧可食無肉，不可居無竹，
Dense bamboo grove swaying and rustling in the wind.
The Moon Gate between the two court yards.
The sign at the Knowing Fish Pavilion. (a 榭 is a building/pavilion with one half hovering over a lake as shown
in the following picture)
清風搖曳，梅影婆婆， 陣陣幽香， 脫俗飄飄欲仙，構成一幅美麗
The following YouTube video entitled “蘇州園林, SuZhou Gardens” provides detailed and artistic description
with Chinese narration of several renowned Gardens in SuZhou, China:
I came to New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden again on May 24, 2014 to attend the wedding of Michael Chen
and Jacqueline Cowart.
The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden (寄興園) is a part of the Staten Island Botanical Garden, located in
the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. One of New York City’s most unique and romantic wedding venues is
Celebrate at Snug Harbor, a Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The picturesque
landscaping, lush botanical gardens, stunning architecture and rich history of this mini metropolis make a truly
one-of-a-kind space to host a romantic wedding. It includes one of the most celebrated gardens in North
America, the Chinese Scholar’s Garden and the Tuscan Garden, modeled after the Villa Gamberaia in
Florence, stands out with its magnificently landscaped terraces, formal water elements, topiaries and period