"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lan Su Chinese Garden.

This past weekend my husband and I were lucky enough to get to go on a very short weekend trip down to Portland. I've lived in the Seattle area most of my life and for some reason other than driving through Portland on my way to California I've never stayed there. I wish I had known what I had been missing all these years. Portland is similar to Seattle in many ways, very green and mountain views and a nice relaxed atmosphere. I knew Portland was famous for roses, but had no idea how many other gardens were there. On Saturday we had beautiful sunny weather which was perfect to tour some of them. We were able to visit the Chinese garden, Japanese garden, International Rose test garden (over 10,000 roses!!) and more. I wanted to share some of what we saw at the Lan Su Chinese garden. I don't remember ever visiting a Chinese garden and so I found it really interesting as well as beautiful. I also wish I would've read the pamphlet we were given when we entered. I've read through it as I looked at my pictures so I could better understand the meaning behind everything.
These gardens were built in 2000 by 65 Chinese artisans who stayed in Portland for 10 months while they assembled all the garden structures that were all brought over from China. It is also supposed to be the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China.
I think what I loved so much about the garden was not just the plantings, but what the plants, buildings and natural materials represented.

The Hall of Brocade Clouds

The other side of the hall from across the pond. The hall was filled with bouquets of Peonies. Some of the largest and prettiest I've ever seen.


The Moon Locking Pavillion.

One of the many paths that led you to other pavilions.

I loved the inlaid pebbles with moss growing on them.

There was one area that had everyone stopping in their tracks to find the origin of a most delicious scent. I finally got down on my hands and knees to discover it was coming from what I think is Corydalis . I had no idea they had such a nice fragrance.

Rock mountain and waterfall.

The teahouse where you could sit and enjoy tea while viewing the garden.


There were beautifully shaped doorways throughout the garden.



Chinese Mayapples. I've only seen pictures of Mayapples on blogs, and got the impression they were rather small plants. This plant was very large.

Painted Boat in Misty Rain is supposed to represent the boat of friendship.

I found that other than a few Peonies and the Corydalis there wasn't much blooming. The shapes and textures of the leaves even impressed my husband.

The were several of these large rocks displayed. They are Lake Tai rocks which are formed underwater, the flow of water is what creates their shapes.

The Chinese garden was definitely a really nice place to visit, very relaxing and peaceful there. We were lucky to have had one of Portland's first sunny days in a long time to visit on. The next day the rain was back, just as it is in Seattle.
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39 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and special place! The pebbles & moss are so beautiful (I wonder how difficult it would be to create & maintain..) and the doorways are spectacular. Thanks for the tour. :)

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  2. Very neat! I am trying to remember who it was that just posted a Chinese garden post and kind of explained the differences between Chinese and Japanese garden. Subtle for sure. I like them both! The Chinese mayapples are a bit bigger than our native ones that grow wild here. I recently saw some on a garden tour. It was too cool and such a pretty plant too.

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  3. Very authentic indeed, every inch truly Chinese feel and taste. Beautifully photographed. ~bangchik

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  4. The photos are stunning I can't imagine seeing it in person and not just being awe struck. The intricate paths, the water features and the plants! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  5. I want those seashell pathways in my garden !! I love those, beautiful photos as usual, thanks so much, Gina

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  6. What a beautiful garden! It reminds me of some of the gardens we visited in China. I would love to visit the rose gardens in Portland. Someday....

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  7. What a captivating and serene place. The pagodas are very authentic along with the landscape. I've been to China twice and if I didn't know better I would think these photos were taken on an island village. Just gorgeous.

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  8. Lovely path and beautiful peaceful gardens!

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  9. So very elegant. The Asian gardens rely more on form and grace while American gardens are more about color.
    Marnie

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  10. Very impressive being the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China.
    Love all the paths,ponds and sculptures.
    If I'm ever out your way...It's a must see !!!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  11. What pretty pictures ~ thank you for sharing these. I love those pebble and moss paths. I am so glad you two were able to visit this amazing place.

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  12. Lovely photos of an interesting garden.

    I remembered that some of the roses in David Austin Catalogue were developed from Portland roses but had not realised the significance to Portland before.

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  13. Looks a most tranquil spot Catherine. I liked the detail on the path in your photo. Sounds as if you had a memorable weekend.

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  14. Catherine sorry for my lack of comments on your blog recently - but I've hardly had a chance to get on the internet as my workload increased immensely this past week.

    I am so glad I was able to read about this incredible garden and see the beautiful photos. What an amazing place and what good weather you had to enjoy the day too.

    I never realised that there was a pink cordyalis - I grow the blue one and the yellow one is like a weed around here. I never even realised that they might even have a scent. I must try and get out into the garden tommorrow and have a sniff at mine. :)Rosie

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  15. Alluring photos of these exquisite gardens..what a serene place!

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  16. A very peacefull garden, love the different shaped doorways. They frame the view nicely.

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  17. A beautiful tour Catherine. I really love the mixed media pathways, the pebbles and moss look so much prettier than slab concrete. The doorways are lovely too, helping to frame some beautiful views in the gardens.

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  18. What a beautiful place to visit! I love the paths and the doorways. Thanks for sharing your trip.

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  19. Catherine thanks for taking us along the tour. I loved seeing those moss filled pebble pathways. I would love to meander along on them.

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  20. What a beautiful and serene place. I love the detail in the pebbles of the pathways and those different shaped doorways are wonderful.

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  21. What an enjoyable tour! I visited this garden shortly after it had been planted, and your post brings back fond memories.

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  22. Another wonderful place to put on my list of 'must visit'. I love that pebbled path - wonder if I can find a place for something similar?

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  23. The photos are very nice, you did a wonderful job choosing the best scenes to photo and present to us...

    I almost feel as though I'm walking along with you as you snap each picture.

    I love the look and style of Asian gardens they are so beautiful, unique and serene.

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  24. Wow! I have just returned from China and posted some pics on my blog of the famous yuyuan gardens, but this garden you visited - I think it maybe even looks better!!!! Stunning :-)

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  25. I used to live in Portland. Thanks for bringing back great memories, Catherine. The photos are great! I'm glad the day was sunny for you.

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  26. Hi Catherine, Beautiful photos. Corydalis 'Blackberry Wine.' I'm in love with this plant.

    What appeals to me most is the pebble mosaics, however I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that Podophyllum!

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  27. Love the photos of the gardens.

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  28. I especially love the unusual shapes of the doors. They are very appealing!

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  29. I could spend hours here. It is so stunning and serene.
    The Lake Tai Rocks rock.
    THanks for sharing.

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  30. Looks beautiful. I need to make my way up to the Great Northwest!

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  31. What a wonderful tour round the garden - it reminded me so much of when I lived in Hong Kong and brought back many happy memories of equally serene gardens there!

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  32. Catherine, I can see why you wanted to share this wonderful place with us! Extremely beautiful!! I like how you captured the scenes, too. I think it's so hard to capture the serene feeling inside a photo, but you've definitely suceeded! The pebble walkways are unique and welcoming. What a great place for you and your husband to enjoy together!

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  33. Great tour Catherine. Love that tea house!

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  34. Beautiful gardens. I love the moss and stone path

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  35. Okay now I'm mad at my brother for not taking me here! I used to visit Portland a lot when my brother was in Optometry school near there. He always took me to a garden so I've been to the others that you mentioned but not this one. It's really beautiful ~ so serene and peaceful looking. Glad you had a nice weekend getaway and that the sun was out for you.

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  36. Catherine, What a beautiful garden! I love the details you have captured. I can see a kind of family resemblance here with the Chinese Garden that is one of my favorite parts of the Montreal Botanical Gardens. (The North American native mayapple is a much smaller plant!) -Jean

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  37. Wow, great pictures! I love the rooflines, the Tai rocks and the wonderful doorways the most. The tiny inlaid pebbles on teh walkways are amazing and I too love what the moss does to them. So much to see there!!

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  38. Lovely photos; you really captured the wonderful details that make the Lan Su garden so special!

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