Chinese Cup Garden and Pavilion
Cup Garden features two intimate cup shaped areas carved out of the
hillside with cliffs formed out of numerous large boulders. The
boulders are all of sandstone and came from Briar Hill Stone in
Glenmont, Ohio from quarry number 26 just outside of Stillwell. They
weigh from ten to thirty tons each. The name of this garden is
obviously derived from the cup shapes of the areas and may be a
single or double cup arrangement. We have chosen to use the two-cup
arrangement. They can really be ‘secret gardens’ as the entrance may
be completely concealed and invisible to the casual passerby . . .
not even realizing they exist.
The Cup Garden was
constructed in 1996, but the Pavilion was not completed until 1998.
As you ascend the stone steps to the Chinese Pavilion you are
welcomed to both a resting and viewing area. Some of the best views
of the Gardens are from the
Pavilion, framed by the moon gate structures on all five sides. It
is twenty-six feet high from the Maryland slate floor to the tip of
the gold leafed armillary sphere. The armillary is an ancient
instrument of rings and circles to show relative positions of
elements in the celestial sphere. It is thought to have been
invented by the Chinese towards the end of the Han Dynasty (206 BC
to 219 AD).
Pavilion itself was very much inspired by Chinese Pagodas and
Temples observed by the Schnormeiers during their extensive trip to
China in 1995. It is five sided and has a double curved roof with
copper shingles imported from Italy. At each roof tip is a dragon
gargoyle to ward off evil spirits. The railing, grille work and moon
gate structures are all made of mahogany.
chandelier is a one hundred year old antique from London, England.
Be sure and take particular notice of the dragon sculpture in the
South Cup. It was sculpted by Lou Ferrario of Napa valley,
California and is named ‘Draco terribilis.’ It seems to be
particularly fierce and appropriate here as dragons plan a major
role in Chinese art, architecture and festivals. As you overlook the
nearby stream and central lake, it seems very apropos of the
Confucian saying: “The wise take pleasure in rivers and lakes.”
features a number of excellent specimens of rare conifers. In the
South Cup is a Pinus banksiana ‘Uncle Fogy’ UNCLE FOGY LIMBER PINE
and in the North an Abies alba ‘Green Spiral’ GREEN SPIRAL WHITE
Please enjoy your visit to the
Gardens and the grand vistas and intimate niches which are both
fully embodied in the Chinese Cup Garden. Some find this to be both
the most intimate and inspiring place in the Garden. We hope you
will find peace here.