Objective The inner court garden is a special type of imperial gardens. The garden layout enclosed by buildings highlights the important role of planting in the construction of natural space. In this paper, based on the historical books, we carried out the research with plant species and plant allocation as the core, and built a comprehensive plant landscape in combination with the spatial layout and activity forms of the inner court garden, hoping to reveal the basic characteristics and general rules of plant landscaping in inner court garden.
Method Taking four inner court gardens as the research object, this paper combs four kinds of historical books, including ancient trees, imperial poems, pictures and images. Combined with three kinds of textual research data, the paper studies the scientific name of literature name, drawing and picture with the concept of “double evidence method”, and analyzes the characteristics of species application combined with the implication of plant culture. On the basis of drawing the planting in combination with historical books, this paper makes frequency statistics and comparative analysis on the planting form, planting location and planting space layout of each courtyard space combined with the research results of plant species, and summarizes three representative planting types through cluster analysis method.
Result (1) There were 19 kinds of plants in inner court garden, involving 13 families and 16 genera. (2) The planting forms of inner court garden included scattered planting, coupled planting, specimen planting, clustered planting and linear planting. Among them, the application of scattered planting was the most, while that of linear planting was the least. (3) There were three kinds of planting location in the inner court garden, including courtyard, rockery and flower terrace. The courtyard type was the most, and the flower terrace type was the least. (4) The planting space layout included parallel type, U-shaped, mouth type, L-shaped and ‘—’ type. The parallel type was the most, while the L-shaped and ‘—’ type were the least. (5) Combined with the activity form of the garden, three representative planting types can be summarized: four side viewing type, central amusement type and central axis guiding type.
Conclusion This study carries out graphical research and data statistics on plant species and planting, and comprehensively builds the plant landscape of 35 courtyard spaces in inner court garden of Beijing imperial gardens, which can provide a reference for the study of planting in the inner court garden and traditional gardens.