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


Never Twice the Same

The Portland Classical Chinese Garden is home to nearly 100 specimen trees; hundreds of rare and unusual shrubs; perennials water plants, bamboos, and orchids. Serpentine walkways, a bridged lake, and open colonnades frame this precisely arranged landscape of plants, water, rock, buildings, and poetry. It is the blending of these five elements that make a garden a classical Chinese garden.

Architects and artisans from Suzhou, China, Portland's sister city, designed the Garden to convey artistic effect and symbolic importance. The design embodies the duality of nature, yin and yang. The Chinese delight in contrast and balance. When yin and yang are balanced, rejuvenating qi, harmony, results. The water and plants are yin, the soft and supple. The buildings and stone are yang, assertive and solid. Think of the garden as a contemplative nature poem, slowly unfolding on a Chinese painted scroll.

The plants in Portland Classical Chinese Garden are consistent with those found in the gardens in Suzhou, although, most of the garden's horticultural treasures were found in the United States, many in the Pacific Northwest. Laden with symbolism, the arrangement of plants is poetry for the eyes. The Garden unfolds a changing look by season - each as lovely as the last.