“Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson
A flowery paradise located in the middle Portland, Lan Su Chinese Garden, offered an enchanting experience that took my breath away. My first impression of the garden, it was colorful and serene. The layout of the garden was simple but well planned as it took us on an adventure to explore every corner and seeing all that it has to offer.
This doorway offered a peek into the garden almost like a frame that is showing me another beautiful view. The color scheme near the entrance was more towards fall colors, I think they have chosen chrysanthemums as the flowers to represent the fall. Chrysanthemums are popular in Asian cultures, in countries like China, Japan, and Vietnam. Since it also came with a lot of different varieties, the garden offered guests a wholesome experience of the chrysanthemum flowers.
I was taken back by the pond in the middle of the garden, the tranquility of the water gave me a feeling of peace and calamity. Standing from a far corner of the garden, I captured some of my most favorite shots. My mind stopped worrying about the endless stream of stressful thoughts, as the sound of the water cleared my head and carried me further into the garden. I was beginning to immerse myself into the beauty of nature, and the serenity of the garden.
Moving towards different sections of the garden, the overall color scheme also changed, from fall colors to more vibrant shades of pinks and purples. The outside of the tea house was decorated with pink and purple chrysanthemums of all different kinds, offering a gentle contrast to the red, orange and yellow flowers near the entrance.
The color scheme continued with different shades of greens, mixing with white chrysanthemums.
(Managed to capture my travel buddy in this picture ^-^)
The Tao of Tea
“I like the pause that tea allows.” ~ Waris Ahluwalia
I stumbled upon a cute little tea house that had a great tea selection. The beautiful garden inspired me to unwind and escape the cold temperature for a hot cup of tea. Looking at the menu outside, I noticed that they also had many interesting selections for sweets, savory snacks, and light side dishes. They also had juices and rice wine, so it wasn’t just tea.
My first impression of the tea house was a cozy and peaceful atmosphere. Despite the November cold air, the tea house was warm and inviting, a great place to escape the chills. The interior was decorated with traditional items of furniture and crafted windows that allowed ample of sunlight to brighten the whole room. We were sat at a wooden table and wooden chairs that remind me of the ones from Chinese dramas.
For the menu, there were different sections for tea, including green tea, black tea, and herbal tea. I have always been a big fan of jasmine tea so I always try jasmine tea whenever I can. If you enjoy the scent of the jasmine flowers and a slightly bitter tea with a sweet aftertaste, I recommend you try to the Jasmine Pearl. I paired my tea with an order of almond cookies, it wasn’t overly sweet. The tea was a perfect match for the cookies since it helped to soften the sweetness.
My travel buddy wasn’t a tea drinker so he opted to for the Peony Green Tea, which had a slight flowery scent and not too strong. It was a good match for the cookies and the seasoned baked tofu. If you are not a tea drinker or new to tea, I recommend light tasting green tea.
The tea was served in little cups filled with tea leaves and hot water. I allowed the tea to sit for an extra one minute since I like my tea strong. One cup of tea can have up to 2 small serving cups. After opening the lid, I took a second to inhaled the sweet scent from the jasmine flower. You can request for more hot water once you are done with your tea. Since it was quite a bit of tea, I was able to enjoy two cups of teas. Each cup of tea was $5, which was a little bit pricey but I think I also paid for the overall atmosphere and the experience was worth it.
“In Life, It’s Not Where You Go, It’s Who You Travel With” – Charles Schulz
I have always been a big planner when it comes to traveling, so it was nice to have someone planned part of the trip. Although the garden was on my list, I completely forgot about it. I was taken back when we arrived because he managed to surprise me with it, and I am thankful to have such a wonderful traveling companion. The visit was more meaningful because it was both of our first times, and we both got to experience the beauty of nature together.
Stop and Smell the Flowers
The serenity and tranquility as soon as I stepped into the garden inspired me to cast away my worries at the entrance as I immersed myself into the beauty and peace that Lan Su Chinese Garden has to offer. I was left in awe as we were making our way out of the garden, my spirit has been lifted. The message that I received from this place was to remember to slow down and enjoy what nature has to offer, whether it be through colors, touch, or smells, nature is healing, so I should learn to appreciate nature more.
Thank you for reading ^.^