After we say farewell to the fabulous folks at Timber Press, we head off on foot a few blocks to the Lan Sun Chinese Garden. The Garden is one of Portland’s great treasures and is a result of a collaboration between the cities of Portland and Suzhou, our sister city in China’s Jiangsu province that’s famous for its beautiful Ming Dynasty gardens.
Lan Su was built by Chinese artisans from Suzhou and is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China, the garden was designed by Kuang Zhen Yan. Groundbreaking occurred in July 1999, and construction was completed 14 months later at a cost of about $12.8 million.
The garden’s grand opening was on September 14, 2000. Enclosing a full city block, roughly 40,000 sqft in the Chinatown area of Portland, Lan Su is much more than just a beautiful botanical garden, it is a creative wonder–a powerfully inspiring experience based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition that melds art, architecture, design and nature in perfect harmony.
Once inside the garden’s walls, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled through time to another era in a faraway world. Lan Su is a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking.
Ever changing, Lan Su always has something new to offer - by the minute, by the hour, and with the seasons. The plant collections at Lan Su present hundreds of native Chinese plant species and forms.
It is home to more than fifty specimen trees, many rare and unusual shrubs and perennials, and curated collections of Magnolia, Peony, Camellia, Rhododendron, Osmanthus and bamboo.
Up next, we board the buses and head just outside the city to Sauvie Island and Cistus Nursery.