Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden fills an entire city block with more than 400 flora species. Within the 40,000-square-foot walled garden you will find a vast array of plant life that is native to China ranging from trees, shrubs and perennials to collections of magnolia, peony, camellia, rhododendron, osmanthus and bamboo.
Overall, the botanical garden melds art, architecture, design and nature. Centered in the garden is a large koi pond that is flanked by bridges and numerous structures including a Tea House, the gift shop, and multiple pavilions. Throughout the entire garden you will find intricate details including rock etchings, wood- and metal-crafted decorations, and beautifully detailed stone flooring designs. The entirety of the garden was built by Chinese artisans to ensure authenticity and attention to detail, and, therefore, Lan Su is touted as one the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China.
The garden is reflective of the famous classical gardens of the Chinese City of Suzhou, which is a sister City of Portland. In 2010 on the garden’s 10th anniversary, it was renamed as the Lan Su Chinese Garden: Su represents Suzhou, and Lan represents Portland. Lan is also the Chinese word for "orchid," and Su is the word for "arise" or "awaken," so the garden's name can also be translated as the "Garden of Awakening Orchids."