The Asian Gardens of Portland

The Asian Gardens of Portland

Portland is a city that has many gardens and which is one of the reasons why one of its nicknames is ‘City of Roses’ due to the many rose gardens that can be found in this city.  These are just one of the reasons why you should considering Oregon rentals.  But there are a couple of other gardens that have a slightly different feel to them.  They are ones that have been influenced by Asian culture and reflect the Asian counter part very well

The first of which, which was opened in 1967 is the Portland Japanese Garden.  Obviously a garden that is related to Japanese culture. The Japanese garden is comprised of five different garden styles that each reflect the different settings of Japan.  There is the flat garden which is meant to represent how the gardens in Japan continue to develop the dry landscape style over time.  This garden has clipped trees and shrubbery to give you a sense of space.  This garden is also meant to show the four seasons of Japan, the lace leaf maple is meant to show autumn, whilst the weeping cherry reflects spring, back pines represent winter and summer is shown by the imaginary cool “water” of the raked gravel surrounding the Circle and Gourd Islands, this is meant to symbolise enlightenment and happiness

The Strolling Pond Garden is one that is made up of to upper and lower ponds that are connected via a stream.  On the upper pond there is a moon bridge and on the lower one there is a lower zigzag bridge that leads to a beautiful waterfall.  In Japan Strolling pond Gardens were meant to be for the wealthy, aristocrats or feudal Lords during the Edo period.  They were meant to be used for recreational means but were seen as a perfect place to relax and reflect on things.

The Tea Garden is certainly a place for quiet and reflection, this is where you would find a tea house.  These are meant to show guests that they can throw away all their troubles and worries with its intimate feeling of being enclosed and away from the outside world.

The Sand and Stone Garden is one that many associate with Japan when they think about Japanese gardens.  These are known as Karesansui which means dry landscape, these are often shown as Zen gardens as they are part of the Zen monastery.  But this style of garden wasn’t meant for meditation but more towards contemplation.  The garden was looked after but the monks as it was part of their practice.

The Natural Garden is the most recent addition to the Portland Japanese Garden.  This makes it the most state of the art garden out of them all, they actually have a name for it called zoki no niwa.  This is a style that features plants that aren’t related to traditional Japanese gardens for example there you will see the vine maple which is native to the area of Portland but not Japan.
This garden use to be called Hillside Garden due to the fact that a part of the garden has steep terrain and that the trees and shrubs give the illusion that the setting is wild yet calm.  The garden was originally plan as a moss garden but it was difficult to maintain the plants in the area, so it was redesigned in the 70s and then redesigned again due to earth movement.

There is another Asian inspired garden in the city of Portland, this one is focusing on the Chinese gardens and is called Lan Su Chinese Garden.  Formerly known as Portland Classical Chinese Garden and it is well known as the Garden of Awakening Orchids.

It is called Lan Su Chinese garden because it represents Portland and its Chinese sister city Suzhou.  The Su in the name derives from Suzhou and Lan represents Portland  This garden was opened on September 14, 2000 although there was an effort to build a Chinese garden at the beginning of the 1980s.

Most of the plants that you can see in the garden is indigenous to China.  But the unique thing about them is that they weren’t imported from China, as they can’t be due to import bans.  The plants were found in parts of Oregon that must have been imported before the import ban was imposed.  Some of these plants date back to 100 years  and there are over 400 different species.

Asians are the second biggest community in Portland which could be the reason one of the reasons why these gardens exists thanks to the sister cities of Sapporo and Suzhou.  The community bloomed and these gardens are the full representation that they could proud of their cultures.

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