Located at the city's center of Yangzhou, Heyuan Garden was named with the family name, "He", of its owner, He Zhidao, in Qing Dynasty. The garden is classified as a classic Chinese garden with its own creation and specialty. It is the best preserved private garden in Yangzhou.
The garden is open and looks spacious due to its clever layout though in fact it's not that big. Great originality is much in evidence in the designs of houses, pavilions and rockeries and the positioning of plants, flowers and stones. Unlike normal rockeries, all those in the Heyuan Garden sit comfortably against walls. The boat-based chamber sits on tiles and stones which have been set out to resemble water. A double-corridor system gives access to east and west gardens and the houses in the garden.
The garden can be divided into three parts: the eastern, the western and southern part. The eastern part consists of a quadrangular hall, rockery and hexangular pavilion, where people used to be entertained. In the southern part of the pavilion, there is a landscape with flower nursery containing the Chinese national flower, Peony. The western part is comprised of houses linked together, central pavilion and rockery, and is the center of the garden, where the owner used to live. The southern part is relatively small but carries a special prestige because its rockeries are made up of special yellow rocks hence different from other gardens in Yangzhou and its neighbors.
In addition, there are two critical differences in the structural design of the garden compared with all other classic Chinese gardens. The fascinating wooden connecting pathway links all the buildings together. In the living areas of the buildings, the designers added the Western-styled fireplaces and other "East meets West" items that are rare in traditional Chinese houses,, which shows special foreign influence in its architecture.
The Heyuan Garden is a Chinese architectural art with some Western influences. All the iron for railings and window glass were imported from abroad. The houses are also decorated with valuable western items.