Monday, June 1, 2009

Road Trip: Portland-Japanese Garden

I am giving the Japanese Garden its own posting since I have a few photos to share. I have been to the Classical Chinese Garden in downtown Portland a few times, but I kept hearing that I should check this garden out as well. As our back yard is ripped up right now, I am looking for hardscape ideas. Japanese Gardens are famous for their hardscaping and I came away with a lot of interesting ideas.

The garden is a little out of the way from downtown Portland, and I had to take a train and a shuttle to get to it. But with temperatures nearing the upper 80's, the garden's abundant shade kept me happy and cool. My serenity was broken near the end when an older Japanese gentleman tried to pass some people on a tight path and broke through the railing and fell to the path below, just a few feet from where I was standing. Granted, his serenity was broken a lot worse than mine, including his head, which was spurting blood everywhere. Luckily, EMTs were quick to the scene and he looked okay as they were taking him away. They had signs everywhere saying to stay on the paths, be careful, etc. I thought they were just worried about lawsuits, but obviously this is commonplace. So if you go, walk carefully!

On a side note, I work as a special events organizer at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma and I notice that most people hardly spend any time looking at the animals. They shuffle through, focusing on ice cream or the carousel. Same with the Japanese Garden. Most people were frantically taking photos and rushing to get through so quickly, I don't know if they ever just stopped to enjoy the colors, the soft textures against the hard, the placement of the plants and pathways, or even saw what they were taking photos of!

As you can see, I was mostly interested in rocks and stuff:

I wish I could recreate this bottom one in our yard.


  1. We love the Japanese Garden -- spent hours there. I love the walk up to the garden entrance itself, curving walls with the rocks and plaques inserted. It's been a couple years since we went -- we'll have to make a stop next time we're in Portland.

  2. Your blog just gets better and better!
    Though I want to keep to native plants are any of these suitable for the Southwest? (because I know not many are native to any state!)

  3. I really like the fountain in the 2nd photo since I want to smash the one I've got!
    (just a side note...maybe Ann would like to see my fountain?Good for a laugh!)

  4. That bottom picture would be an amazing patio. I love how they put things together and it looks like they belong together. My neighbor chopped up something concrete and piled it in their parking strip and I have thought about trying to use the pieces like flagstone but know with my lack of vision and artistic ability it will just look like crap :)

  5. Now I'm intrigued. How can I see Cynthia's fountain?

  6. I'm trying to get her to email me before and after pics so I can post them!