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27 November 2014
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Tuesday 22 May

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Chinese students question garden

Through the Moongate garden

Three Chinese students have complained to the RHS over the show garden Through the Moongate, designed by Lesley Bremness.

The students said they were "shocked by serious flaws” and said some aspects of the garden showed "some very bad feng shui".

Among their accusations are that the statue of the dragon is facing north, rather than east as it should under feng shui rules; and that the positioning of a carving of Buddha’s name is disrespectful as it is too close to the ground.

The RHS says it does take the complaint seriously, but adds that all gardens are assessed on horticultural merit - and if there are any issues over other aspects of the garden, it’s between the designer and the individuals concerned.

Through the Moongate garden

Designer Lesley Bremness says there’s no substance in the claims. "This is not a feng shui garden, so I don't know what that’s all about," she says. "It's like coming up to a Muslim garden and saying, this is a religious garden - where's your cross?”

She says that under Taoist tradition - which is represented in the garden - the dragon faces out in a protective way, protecting the garden against enemies. She took advice from Chinese experts in putting the garden together, and says the Chinese ambassador, who visited with the Queen yesterday, has asked if elements of the garden can be transferred to the Chinese embassy in London after the show.

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