One of the most important and symbolic aspect of the garden were the rocks. They were symbolic even in the way they were made. Monoliths, were at the end of the garden, and are called peaks (feng). They are piled up like the one in the corner of the garden and are called artificial mountains (jiashan). The rocks are eroded limestone boulders from Lake Tai, near Suzhou. The word for landscape is shanshui and it literally means mountain and water. In gardens, rocks represent rough, big, and beautiful mountains. The water (pool or stream) symbolizes the ability to restore health, strength, or in general people's well being. Water has a calming sound and symbolizes harmony through wu wei. Wu wei literally means “no action.” It is something that does not involve struggle or excessive effort. It is a mental state where you are just going on with your life effortlessly. Wu wei is about letting life take its own path or natural course. When you sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful nature that the garden provides you are experiencing wu wei.
The water and rock together symbolize the important term yin and yang. Yin and yang are patterns or things that depend on each other and work best together as opposites. They are opposites that work together to create harmony and become unified. The water is the yin and the rocks are the yang. The water is dark, soft, wet , cool, empty, and not rigid. The rocks are bright, solid, hard, dry, hot, and rigid. Water moves and splashes, and the rocks stay in one place. Together they represent movement with stability and flexibility with strength.