Crambe repetita (47)
While adding some detail in the pot with flowers or stones, try to create small scenes as lovely as pictures or grand vistas of enchantment. These can be the delight of your study if you can lose yourself in contemplation of them when sitting with a cup of fine tea. Once when planting narcissi I had no stones from Lingpi to put in the pot, so instead I used small pieces of coal that looked like stones. If one takes five or seven cabbage sprouts as white as jade and of various sizes, plants them in sand in a rectangular pot, and then covers the sand with small pieces of coal instead of stones, the black coal will contrast with the white cabbage and look most interesting. Thinking up possibilities like this can provide endless enjoyment, more than I can describe.
– Shen Fu (Six Records of a Floating Life,
trans. L. Pratt & Chiang Su-Hui, p. 59)