Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Su garden is located in Portlands derelict China town, a few steps from the train station.  Taking up only one city block, it does an incredible job of making the space feel expansive with thoughtful design and strategically placed trees.

In a few months the ponds fill with water lilies, a good excuse to come back! The Koi that live in the water stay there year-round, although there did seem to be less this time than there were last summer.   The rock and most of the building materials were imported from China, including the exquisite roof tiles (how did I not get a picture of them?!)

Many of the walking paths were built in the style below, with moss and liverworts filling the cracks.

And the plants!

The buds of this weeping Katsura remind me of a scolding finger (yes, I’m being quiet!).


And the blooms!

This part of the garden held a few Bonsai and offered some beautiful shadows in the bright sun.  The way the circular entryway framed the Bonsai was especially nice.  The only thing missing was the age of the Bonsais.

This Pyrrosia lingua colony was looking fantastic despite it being March.  I can’t help but wonder if they planted it all at once, or if it has slowly grown from a much smaller plant to make this fabulous colony.

A display called for visitors to write couplets in honor of the garden.  Out of the dozens of poems speaking of soul, heart, peace, happiness, this was the only one that spoke to me.  The fish truly did look hungry.


A few blocks from the garden are these lovely structures, which have always looked like pitcher plants to me. They stand at least 14′ high.