Botanic Garden site established in 1934; Japanese Garden begun in 1970.
Botanic Garden open daily 8am; gates locked at 11pm; Closed half day on Christmas and New Year's Days Conservatory: Mon-Fri, 10am - 9pm, Sat 10am - 6pm, Sun 1pm - 6pm Japanese Garden: November - March, open every day except Christmas, 10am - 5pm; April - October, open every day, 9am - 7pm. Entry gates close 30 minutes prior to closing time.
Botanic Garden free. Conservatory: Adults $1, Seniors $0.50, children 4-12, $0.50, 4 and under, free Japanese Garden: Adults, $2,50 weekends, $2 weekdays
Children ages 4-12, $1
Seniors, $0.50 off regular admission
Children under 4, free
Tour groups and special activity groups pay regular admission on weekdays.
Added to JGarden:
A Pair of Stones
Two chunks of gray-green stone,
their shapes grotesque and unsightly,
wholly unfit for practical uses --
ordinary people despise them, leave them untouched.
Formed in the time of primal chaos,
they took their place at the mouth of Lake Taihu,
ten thousand ages resting by the lakeshore,
in one morning coming into my hands!
Pole-bearers have brought them to my prefectural office
where I wash and scrub away mud and stains.
The hollows are black, deeply scarred in mist,
crevices green with the rich hue of moss.
Aged dragons coiled to form their feet,
old swords stuck in for the crown,
I suddenly wonder if they didn't plummet from Heaven,
so different from anything in this human realm!
One will do to prop up my lute,
one to be a reservoir for my wine.
The tip of one shoots up several yards,
the other has a hollow, will hold a gallon of liquid!
My five-stringed instrument leaning on the left one,
my single wine cup set on the right,
I'll dip from the hollowed cask and it will never go dry,
though drunkenness long since has toppled me over.
Every person has something he loves,
and things all yearn for a companion.
More and more I fear that gatherings of the young
no longer will welcome a white-haired gentleman.
I turn my head, ask this pair of stones
if they'd consent to keep an old man company.
And though the stones are powerless to speak,
they agree that we three should be friends.