Keyuan (Ke Garden) is one of the four famous landscape gardens in Guangdong Province, and it is the representative of Lingnan (south China) garden architecture.
Keyuan was built in 1850. It is one of the four famous landscape gardens in Guangdong Province in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911), and the other three gardens are Qinghui Garden in Shunde, Yuyin Garden in Panyu, and Liang Garden in Foshan.
Keyuan covers an area of 2204 square meters (0.54 acres). The garden is not large, but it is exquisite and enjoyable by artistically combining living rooms, bedrooms, gardens, villas, yards, studies, corridors and pavilions within such limited area.
The whole complex was built with wood and bricks, with delicate and elegant carvings on the windows, doors and handrails. The garden can be divided into three parts according to the landscape and functions. The southeast area which is the entrance serves as the area for greeting guests. The west area is for entertaining and dining, while the north area is for the owner and his family or guests to reside, read, draw, and play musical instruments.
Zhang Jingxiu (1824-1864) was the the owner of the garden. Although he was a military official, he was also a master of Chinese painting, calligraphy, poetry, chess and musical instruments. After he quit from his work, he liked to invite scholars, calligraphers, painters and poets to his garden to discuss and create art, which laid the foundation for the modern art and culture of Guangdong Province.