In Time for Spring: Chinese Gardens

Spring is here! If you haven’t gotten your flower fix at Reed and want a change of scenery, you may want to check out the Lan Su Garden in Portland’s Chinatown. 

Lan Su Garden is a Suzhou-style Chinese garden located in the heart of downtown Portland and a great escape from the urban landscape we’ve become so accustomed to. Chinese classical gardens are meant to reflect the harmony between nature and human-made structures. These gardens are traditionally constructed to feature the balance of elements such as water, rocks, pavilions, and plants. 

The 4,000 square meter space in Lan Su Garden includes a lake called Lake Zither, pavilions, Taihu rock structures, and plants like the osmanthus tree, bamboo, orchid, pine tree, and plum blossom. The main Taihu rock in Lan Su Garden is a uniquely structured limestone rock retrieved from Lake Tai near Suzhou. Most of the garden was constructed by artisans in China and made from authentic materials and techniques. Spring is the perfect time to visit, as many of the native Chinese plants will be in full bloom. 

If you can recognize some Chinese characters, try to decipher the ones titling the different areas of the garden!