Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon was built by Chinese artisans and is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The mission of the Garden is “to cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony to inspire, engage, and educate our global community in the appreciation of a richly authentic Chinese culture”.
On our journey to discover all about loose leaf tea, I recently visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden. We were both completely captivated by the beauty and tranquility of the Garden, feeling as though we had been transported back in time to the 16th century in the spiritual land of China.
Entering the Garden we were greeted by two large Dragonfish on the roof, poised to swallow all evil influences and protect the building from fire.
Anyone who knows me knows I always have my camera at the ready to get beautiful and unique photos. The Garden is a carefully arranged progression of scenes that unfold one after another, so there was ample opportunity for some pics.
Penjng are arrangements of miniature trees and rocks that replicate natural landscapes, with some containing trees that are over one hundred years old.
Wandering through Lan Su Yuan at a relaxed pace allowed us to take in all the soothing sounds, scents and sights:
Still ponds with colorful koi swimming in the quiet water contrasted with the sound of rushing water spilling over tall rocks.
Plum, bamboo and pine trees add to the texture, color and story of the Garden, being the ‘Three Friends of Winter’.
The abstract natural sculpture of Taihu stones provide unusual architecture.
Hibiscus, orchids and plum blossoms are among the hundreds of plants that emit exotic fragrance throughout the Garden.
An intricately detailed panel carved from gingko wood has this inscription in calligraphy on the back:
“Most cherished in this mundane world is a place without traffic: Truly in the midst of a city there can be mountain and forest.” ~Wen Zhengming (1470-1559)
I spotted this duck huddling in a quiet spot close enough that we could have touched her, and she didn’t seem to mind our presence at all.