Total Landscape Care

June 2013

Total Landscape Care Digital Magazine

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fieldreport: another purpose. In Chinese gardens, plants convey meanings: For example, plum, bamboo and pine are known as the "Three Friends of the Winter," serving as a reminder to preserve. Lan Su also incorporates the five elements of a Chinese garden – rocks, water, literature, plants and architecture – along with couplets like, "Read the painting; listen to the fragrance," intricately carved on gingko panels. Amongst the foliage sit Lake Tai rocks, which are top heavy to represent mind over matter. "It's meant to make you think," says Lucinda Pierpont, who has been a tour guide there since the garden opened. As she leads groups through the meditative space, she shares traditional Chinese stories and jokes that relate to the surroundings. "The small, confined spaces open up to endless sky, which gives you the yin and yang," Pierpont says of how the seemingly opposite elements bring harmony and balance. Lan Su (, completed in 2000, brings the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China to Portland, as a result of a partnership between the city and Suzhou – a city in China's Jiangsu province. Using sounds from both Portland and Suzhou, the garden's name translates to "Orchid Awaken," or poetically as "Garden of Awakening Orchids." Sixty-five artisans from Suzhou lived in Portland while they assembled and completed 8 To ta l L a n d s c ap eC are.c om TLC0613_FieldReport.indd 8 the structures. During the six months of construction, they used more than 500 tons of rock from Mainland China, wood and tile to build the structures, and 60 percent of the plants in the garden originated in China. The buildings incorporate lattice windows that distort the garden Walking along mosaic stone pathways and through moon gates (shown at top), visitors enjoy the sights and smells the garden shares through its plants (like the black pine shown bottom right) and structures. j u n e 2 013 5/23/13 1:52 PM

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