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Guanyuanshi 灌園史

Feb 25, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Guanyuanshi 灌園史 is a book on gardening and tea cultivation written during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Chen Shijiao 陳詩教 (fl. 1616), courtesy name Sike 四可, style Lütian 綠天, from Xiushui 秀水 near Jiaxing 嘉興, Zhejiang.

The book, finished and printed in 1616, is introduced by prefaces written by Chen Jiru 陳繼儒 (1558-1639) and Monk Zhixian 釋智舷 (1554-1630). It has a length of 4 juan and consists of two parts, each of which is divided into two halves, namely Guxian qian 古獻前 and Guxian hou 古獻後, which give evidence of the development of garden cultures since oldest times by quoting from ancient books, as well as Jinxing qian 今刑前 and Jinxing hou 今刑後, two twin-chapters presenting rules for cultivation in general and of different plants, namely cultivation with the seasons (Hua yueling 花月令), general [rules for] cultivation (Zongjie 總結), flowers and green plants (Huahui 花卉), bamboos and non-fruit trees (Zhushu 竹樹), melons and fruit trees (Guamu 瓜果), and tea and legumes [and mushrooms] (Chashu 茶蔬). The chapter Zongjie presents general rules like sowing, 分扦、接換、移植、修補、保護、催養、卻蟲、貯土 and irrigation 澆灌 xxx.

The Guanyuanshu is often quoted in Zhou Wenhua's 周文華 (fl. 1620) book Runan pushi 汝南圃史. It was not very widespread and seems not to have been reprinted in premodern times. Some manuscripts survive. Zhou Zhongfu 周中孚 (1768-1821), author of Zhengtang dushu ji 鄭堂讀書記 holds that the Guanyuanshi was a revised version of Chen's earlier book Hualihuo 花里活.

Sources:
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 953.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 175.
Yang Baolin 楊寶霖 (1995). "Guanyuanshi 灌園史", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 130.