The Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Between NW 2nd and 3rd and NW Everett and Flanders in Old Town/Chinatown, Portland Oregon, USA

Listen to the Fragrance

The Portland Classical Chinese Garden, Lan Su Yuan, grew out of a friendship between the sister cities of Portland, Oregon and Suzhou, a Chinese city renowned for its ancient gardens. Lan Su Yuan - poetically named the Garden of Awakening Orchids - is a microcosm of nature’s splendors contained in an urban setting. Created to nurture and inspire all who visit, this classical garden is little changed from what might have greeted visitors during China’s Ming dynasty.

In Chinese tradition, garden landscape without poetry is not complete, and Lan Su Yuan is graced with a wealth of poetic inscriptions. In Listen to the Fragrance, Professor Charles Wu provides translation and insightful commentary, guiding us on a literary tour of the garden and revealing hidden meaning among its flowers, moving water, Lake Tai rocks, and elegant architecture. With stories and legends from ancient dynasties and images of scenic wonders from China’s vast history, the inscriptions deepen our appreciation of Lan Su Yuan’s beauty. The rich canon of classical Chinese poetry enhances the garden as a new setting for China’s enduring culture.

Listen to the Fragrance will engage readers in the poetic conversation deeply embedded within the landscape of classical Chinese gardens.