Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lan Su

We've been having so many adventures lately that I'm behind in my blogging. About two months behind. If only there were some zen-like garden in this city to escape the stress of blogging!

Oh, that's good. That's very, very good.

One of the best parts of our local library system is the 'Adventure Pass to Culture' program they have. Patrons can reserve a daily pass to any zoo, museum, park, or other cultural experience in PDX free of charge. Recently we decided to head over to Chinatown to see the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Lan Su means "awakening orchid". Lan is for Portland, Su is for Suzhou - Portland's Chinese sister city. Apparently Suzhou is also well-known for its gardens. The Lan Su garden was made by shipping 500 tons of materials from China and hiring 65 Chinese artisans who worked on the gardens for 10 months. The result, they claim, is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of the mainland.

The garden has a great supply of penjing (bonsai trees) on hand. I hear there's a penjing festival next month. I've been thinking of starting another bonsai tree...hopefully it will be a little easier here than during a Wisconsin winter.

We learned that Chinese gardens use doors and windows to frame an image. It became a game to find what was being framed for our view.

This blossom was on one of the many penjing trees.

There was some incredible craftsmanship in that garden. I can't imagine how long it took to carve this wall.

All in all, a beautiful garden. We spent 90 minutes there and I felt completely relaxed when we left. I'll definitely go back...probably with a game of weiqi in hand.


  1. I love seeing places around the world, and since I can't go to them all--it is fun to see photos taken by others who have visited them. Thanks for sharing, it looks beautiful!