On my last day in Portland, I visited the Classical Chinese Gardens, in historic Chinatown. It was really lovely, even in the winter, and I regretted not having my camera with me. I would have liked to have photos both of the archway into the the area—reminiscent of the one in DC’s historic Chinatown—as well as of some of the interior features. Although it was quite a cold day, I enjoyed seeing the winter architecture of the garden perhaps more than I would have the in the summer. It provided a lot of material for ideas for the growth and planning of my own garden, in terms of layout of paths, beds, trees and shrubs, and—of course—the water features. I wouldn’t mind having a few bonsais in the house (I really loved the examples of the forest formations that I saw), nor a gong or garden bell, come to think of it.
It’s my hope that our yard will eventually accommodate a pond (which will have to be small), a walking path (ditto), and a patio of some kind. I would have to say that, of all the features there, the paths and patios at the Chinese Garden were the most thought-provoking; they were done in a variety of pebble mosaics, something that I hadn’t considered for our own (eventual) patio, but which I really liked quite a lot. Although I don’t have any photos of my own, they are in the same style as these ones at the Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, BC. I had been considering just sand-packed flagstone, but the texture of the pebble mosaic was really nice, and the quality of the stones was somehow both more formal and more homey than the flagstone. We have a rectangular space for the patio, ‘in’ the L of the back of the house, so a formal pattern would fit quite nicely.
We’ll see. Besides being the middle of winter (such as it is), my own skill with mosaics is far from the level needed to start working on major home projects. Not to mention the leaking garage foundation, which takes a slightly higher priority than making our backyard a haven of art and serenity.
But only slightly.