It’s been a couple years since I last visited the Chinese Garden. Out of town guests prompted me to renew my membership. As is my usual custom, we did the tour (I always learn something new) and sipped tea in the tea room.
I’ve always appreciated the carved panels. Previous guides have mentioned that each of the four represented historic philosophers’ gardens in China.
This guide pointed out that this panel showed the garden that the design of Lan Su was mostly based upon, noting the tea room (top), pagoda, and zigzag bridge. And here is the bridge in the garden.
Previously I’d heard the lore that the zigzag made it more difficult for evil spirits to cross; this time the explanation was more mundane. It delayed passage, slowing people down, giving the experience of a larger garden. For a real philosopher’s garden would also be a small space in a busy city, made to look/represent large. As in the “mountain” and waterfall.
Sometimes the idea is all that is needed.
Then to the tea room.
This time we were seated upstairs where we got an overview of the garden.
Each kind of tea has its own kind of pot and cup. I especially liked this delicate flowerlike cup for the Black tea with rose petals (timely because of the rose parade).
Here is the Lan Su float for the rose parade.
Yes, I was a wimp and viewed from inside on a chair! But floats were on the street later for close-up looks.
I have more float photos; maybe another day.
The Lan Su Chinese Garden is closing after Thanksgiving for some major repairs to the lake–the lining needs to be replaced and they are creating places for the koi to hide from the herons that pass through for dinner. That pushed me to make a visit before it closed, and the timing led to some spectacular color.
The star red tree–front.
From the back
Through the arch
With that little penjing as an accent. I remember the first time I saw one of those miniaturized trees changing with the season. After my surprise, I thought, Of course!
There were other more delicate colors, as well as an exhibit of mums and floral arrangements.
And the most persimmons I’ve seen on the tree. Maybe I should say the most I remember seeing–I didn’t go back and check old photos.
There were indoor floral arrangement demonstrations too, and we watched two. But my photos of their arrangements didn’t turn out. Two very different styles, and fun to see both. And mums everywhere.
And the ritual landboat shot–with persimmons to the left and lotus in the foreground.
The view through the keyhole arch was spectacular too.
This weekend is the Mid-Autumn Festival, second in popularity to the Chinese New Year. Lan Su Chinese Garden celebrates both in a big way. I made it to two performances and enjoyed a moon cake, traditional pastry of the festival.
I got there in time for the Lion Dance, but not in time to get a good viewing spot.
Too bad I didn’t remember how to do videos–the batting eyelashes and scratching behind the ear would have been fun to capture. That the lion was maneuvered by people did not have to be hidden, as you can see from the photo where the lions raise their heads. The lion definitely liked its reflection. That pose plus some stair climbing animal tricks were amazing when you think the performers’ hands were busy manipulating head and tail, so all other motions were made feet alone.
My ritual photo of the land boat.
This photo is from the stage. The land boat was prime viewing space, so as soon as the Lion Dance was over I headed that way. The performances were every hour on the hour with time to enjoy the garden in between One activity for children was making red lanterns.
One didn’t make it home. I spent the 15 minutes between acts holding my spot for viewing the next performance and watching fish along with the floating lantern.
You may remember photos from a way back where a heron visited the garden. Seems they feast on the fish in the lake. I doubt they would eat this big guy though. The dancers performed three numbers.
I did not get the name of the first one (blue costumes); the second was Golden Peacock, and the last was Lotus Dreams. Again, video would have been great to capture the gliding motion among others.
The weather was perfect for enjoying the festival, and if the sky remains clear, I’ll enjoy the eclipse tonight.
Lately I’ve been seeing posts deriving palettes from photos through various programs, Palette Builder 2.1 being one of them.
I decided to play too.
While I might have fun playing with this palette, the first thing I notice is what is missing, the reds and yellows. Does that mean Moda doesn’t have a match for these? I’d be surprised if that were true. Is it related to amounts of color, and the tool goes for larger percentages? Maybe.
Let’s try another with more accent colors.
Where are the white and reds? Does the algorithm “assume” that I can see these accent colors for myself and need help only with the more subtle ones? Maybe.
Well, let’s try one where there is no accent color, just for fun.
This one is to say, yes, these are from my most recent Lan Su Chinese Garden visit. And yes the red rose is blooming again. And here is the ritual landboat shot. I missed the new ritual bridge shot. Gotta get into that habit. But about color: no accents to lose, so no disappointment. Benefit of the palette builder here is the blue, second from the right. I’d not seen that in the photo.
Just one more. It is a bit addictive, I must admit.
I tried a more colorful photo. Can you believe that that one pink (I’ve already forgotten its Moda Bella name) is the only reddish color from that photo? It is obviously not a selection based on amount of a color in the photo.[ETA: Since looking at the tutorial mentioned in the comments, I see that the program does work from volume of a color. I’ll have to study why that doesn’t appear to be the largest amount of a shade of pink to my eye.] I would also appreciate if the “save” feature produced the names of the Kona Bella solids along with the squares. You get the names when you upload the photo; they just don’t save.
A while back I took a class with Jean Wells Keenan when she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame. She too advises getting a color palette from photos. However, she emphasized maintaining the proportions of colors in the photo. Now wouldn’t a tool be lovely if it did that proportion math? Of course I’m using a free app; maybe one exists out there that does what I want for a fee.
I’ll be linking with Creative Goodness on Friday, link in sidebar.
Filed under design, quilting
I totally missed February at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, so I never did see the plum blossom tree in full bloom. Nor can I tell you if the red rose was still blooming. But I can tell you it wasn’t on March 25. Plenty of other flowers were, though.
Then there are the ritual shots:
The landboat and the weeping willow. Wasn’t it nice of that tourist to wear red and pose there? If you can’t wait for tourists to move, it is nice when they fit the photo. The weeping willow looks so lacy in the spring–I think that is one reason I started making the landboat a ritual photo. This isn’t the usual angle for the landboar shot, but it was raining, so I stayed under a roof.
And the bridge.
As to wildlife, there were two mating pairs: scrub jays and ducks. The jays darted in and out, but were too fast for me to get a photo. They were looking for a nesting spot. After they nest, they will dive bomb visitors for a few weeks. I did get one of the ducks, though they weren’t into staying still either.
I learned something new–it pays to do the tour each visit, each guide is so different. This one emphasized issues of education, occupation and status. It seems not just any child could inherit the garden; it had to go to one with the proper education and standing! So the wealthy families selected one son to groom for status and inheritance.
Two years and I have missed the plum blossom tree in full bloom, being too early and/or too late. This year I am determined. . . . Not quite yet though.
Not a bad show–and the best I’ve gotten so far– but not full bloom yet.
Now it is supposed to be the first bloom of winter, but the tree to the left either didn’t know that or decided to upstage it.
Actually the guide said that this tree was blooming over a month early since the winter had been so mild.
The floor mosaic honors the plum blossom tree too: Plum Blossoms on Cracked Ice. (My blocks for the Cracked Ice quilt reminded me of this floor, hence the quilt name.)
Other flowers were blooming.
These photos are to say to all folks stuck in snowdrifts that spring will come. The upper left flower is called Wintersweet, and it does have an amazing fragrance. The lower left is one I’ve been calling forsythia; however, it is winter jasmine. Today’s guide was very good about naming the plants–too bad I don’t remember all of the names. The bees were enjoying the other yellow flower–one whose name I didn’t catch. And the lower right is the red rose that has been in bloom every visit since I’ve been watching it.
And here is the ritual view of the landboat.
Note that there are no longer any persimmons hanging on to the tree to the left. I’m thinking I need another ritual shot besides the land boat. How about this bridge?
These two views capture four of the five elements of a Chinese philosopher’s garden: water, stone, architecture, and of course plants. What is missing is poetry. Another visit.
And one last view of the plum blossoms.
I finally got to the garden in the rain. Actually it wasn’t on purpose. It wasn’t raining when my friend and I went to the bus stop. This is Portland, after all.
Look hard: see the red rose in the upper right? Still blooming. And the next photo is a close up of the white flower in the foreground.
Other flowers were blooming also.
It looks like the lotus boat is a permanent fixture, not just during lotus harvesting season.
And the ritual shots of the land boat, persimmons tree, and weeping willow:
I wonder how long those last persimmons will hang on.
There are enough covered passage ways that we didn’t get too wet while visiting in the rain. But the tea room is one of the best sheltered places–quite a few visitors thought so; it was crowded. And rain did limit some of the spots where I like to take photos. I’m waterproof, but my camera isn’t.
And though it was raining, it wasn’t raining hard enough to hear the sound effect of the drip from the tile to the banana leaves. I think there are more visits in my future.
Oh, and in case you couldn’t see the red rose, here is a shot with a little zoom: It is said to bloom 8 out of 12 months; I’m counting.