Classical Chinese Garden
NW 3rd and Everett, Portland, OR, 97208, 503-228-8131

Entry Plaza

Along the north wall of the entry plaza are "three friends of winter", the pine (Pinus densiflora), the bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), and the plum (Prunus mume). Esteemed for displaying needle, leaf, and flower during the coldest months of the year, the three are also a veiled reference to the Confucian scholar of ancient China who, through hard political times, held fast to his ethical principals. The stone inscribed with Chinese characters meaning "crescent cloud" rests among them.

To the south, near finely chiseled granite arches framing the entry plaza, is the Chinese twelve month rose (Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'). Named for its tendency to bloom year around in temperate climates, this species was used in the West during the 19th century to develop hybrid tea roses.

The Chinese landscape architects who designed our garden placed them in the entry plaza in honor of Portland's floral symbol, the rose.

Further down the sidewalk, towards 2nd Avenue, is a pair of ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba). The Chinese refer to ginkgo as duck's foot tree for the shape of its leaves. This species is the sole survivor of a once abundant group of primitive conifers. It has long been cultivated in China for the delectable nut-like kernels contained in its fruit. Many wizened old specimens can be seen on temple grounds in China, where trees are honored for their age.

In front of the ginkgo are red and pink-flowering oleanders (Nerium oleander). Introduced to Chinese horticulture from the Middle East more than one thousand years ago, the oleander is appreciated by gardeners in China for the bamboo-like appearance of its stems and leaves and for its peach blossom-like flowers.

bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Chinese twelve month rose

pink-flowering oleanders (Nerium oleander)