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Banyan Tree Lijiang, China

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  • The softscape design concept for the all-villas resort reflects a subtle abstraction of the nine hundred year-old ancient city of Lijiang. It is a quiet and informed translation of the existing historic elements into a language of modernity. The juxtaposition of the planting material does not attempt to copy a Chinese scenic landscape nor does it follow what constitutes traditionally a Chinese garden typology. It offers an abstracted microcosm of the ancient city Lijiang experience.
  • One constant factor throughout the resort is the manner in which the softscape is divided into large rectangular plots expressing a tension between the aesthetics of an ordered matrix and the naturalistic planting. To achieve this effect, planting is done in grids to form hedges of flowering shrubs and clusters of bamboo. Specimen tree species are planted as distinctive trees with characteristically good form.

    The Villa Courtyards attempt to depict a perception of home – where the landscape feels comfortable and intimate, just as a diligent home-owner would have tended to its every need. Plant choices and arrangements therefore echo these qualities – chosen with low maintenance in mind, with soft lawns of mosses and grass comfortable to tread on with bare feet. Potted plants, bonsai trees and carefully chosen stones are positioned at strategic locations around the yard in the same spirit as a Chinese painting.