Sunday Evening Reflection: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

In the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, a tranquil Classical Chinese Garden offers visitors a place to pause, to rest and gain the solace of peaceful reflection. Named in honour of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a nationalist leader who is considered the “father of modern China” the garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The philosophies of Feng shui and Taoism, which seek harmony and a balance of opposites, are an integral part of Classical Chinese gardens. The placement of rocks, lush plants, lily-covered ponds and beautiful vistas speak to our sense of belonging with nature.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The goal and vision of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is to maintain and enhance the bridge of understanding between Chinese and western cultures, promote Chinese culture generally and engage within the local community.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

While the Garden is closed until 2021, I have gone back in time to an Autumn afternoon in early November 2019 when I walked through winding paths and felt the gentle touch of a cool breeze and the warmth of the golden-red colours.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen

For forty years, I have devoted myself to the cause of the people’s revolution with but one aim in view – the elevation of China to a position of freedom and equality among the nations.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen

64 Comments Add yours

  1. cindy knoke says:

    I love Vancouver’s China town and this is why.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You will be pleased to know that there is a huge Chinatown transformation underway, which is very exciting. Stay tuned. I am delighted that you visited Vancouver. Sending hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz says:

    What an incredible place. I feel tranquil and calm just watching your video – it must be so peaceful to be there in person. 💚

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You would love this garden, Liz, and I’m thrilled that joined me virtually. As you can see, there are great paths. I am convinced that we feel are our best when we are close to nature. I always feel a freshness of extra oxygen coming from the trees. The smell of the earth, the feeling of warmth or chill depending on the weather, and the crunching sound of my footstep in the open air, give a sense of wholeness. Sending many hugs your way across the ocean!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Liz says:

        It’s like I am there now! X

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful.

    Interesting tension between the garden and the tower blocks in the background.

    Must be a veritable oasis of tranquility in the city.

    ✨☀️🙏🕉️♾️☮️🙏☀️✨

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you Graham, for joining me in the garden. I understand that this is a “scholar’s garden.” This name was of great interest to me and sent me on a mini-research project, which took me to New Zealand’s Hamilton Garden (would love to visit that garden – wow) . “In ancient China, mandarins, scholars and the landed gentry formed a distinct social class. It was this class that created and maintained the distinctive form of the traditional scholar’s garden. Gardens sometimes reflected the Chinese philosophy of Confucianism, with its restrained formality and hierarchy.” https://hamiltongardens.co.nz/collections/paradise-collection/chinese-scholars-garden/. So many beautiful gardens in our world.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the link, Rebecca. That certainly looks like a place you could spend a long time exploring and appreciating simply being in that environment.

        I was recently watching an old BBC series with Monty Don – Around the World in 80 Gardens, which featured some fascinating Chinese and Japanese gardens. There is quite a famous Japanese garden at Tatton – a couple of hours away from here – which I vaguely remember visiting almost 30 years ago. I’d like to return there for a visit some time once things get a bit more back to ‘normal’ (but who knows what that even means any more?)

        Peace 🕊

        🙏✨

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        You are the second person to mention Monty Don. It seems that I am unable to find the series from Canada. I’m now searching for the companion book. On Sunday, we went into a lockdown phase where we cannot travel outside Vancouver unless for emergency purposes. We’ve had a spike in Covid19 cases over the past couple of weeks. I am learning to visit virtually and am grateful that we can connect across the globe with our technology. I agree wholeheartedly- we must seek peace and embrace tranquility. We have entered a new reality and am thankful for kindred spirits to give light to my days.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I was struck by that tension as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Dave Astor says:

    Beautiful garden, and beautiful post about it, Rebecca! The one time I was in Vancouver was 21 years ago, when I was covering a meeting and didn’t have much time to “see the sights.” I can see from this post and a number of your previous posts that I missed a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I did not know that you were in Vancouver. Just think 21 years ago, we may have passed each other in the street. You would have enjoyed visiting this garden for you would have found Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s life fascinating. I have yet to read his biography but the garden in his name is a testament to the influence he had within the community. I understand that he spent a considerable amount of time in Vancouver. Another book on my list, Dave!!! Always an adventure to know how high the stack of books can grow!!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Dave Astor says:

        True, Rebecca — we may have crossed paths! 🙂

        While I didn’t see very many specific sights, I did get the overall impression of Vancouver being a lovely city and a great place to be.

        I agree that Dr. Sun Yat-Sen lived a fascinating life. Reading a biography of him would indeed be well worth the time! But, yes, to-read lists and to-read stacks can get quite large. Still trying to figure out how to read while asleep…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Let me know when you figure it out!!!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Dave Astor says:

        Ha! 🙂 Very drolly said!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Klausbernd says:

    Good morning, our dearest friend Rebecca,
    that seems to be a beautiful garden. We love Chinese and Japanese gardens and the philosophy behind it. We know from Japanese aesthetics as well the combining of the opposites they call wabi-sabi.
    We just read a well written Chines novel by Xiaolu Guo “A Lover’s Discourse”. This is about the cultural differences between Chinese and English. Before I read the highly praised “A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers” by her.
    Looking forward to talk to you soon.
    Sending you lots and lots of love ❤ ❤ and big hugs 🤗 🤗 🤗 🤗
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for the recommendation of “A Lover’s Discourse”. I found the book and am very excited about reading it in the coming months. Reading is an excellent way of increasing our understanding between two cultures. I found “A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers” as well. Xiaolu Guo has several other interesting novels. One book leads to the next and the next. It really is like following one gold piece after another on the path ahead. Looking forward to our talk! Sending much love and many hugs to our dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Klausbernd says:

        Dear Rebecca,
        you even learn a little bit about the German language there. I especially like her critique on the English culture.
        Looking very much forward talking to you soon.
        Big HUGs
        🤗🤗🤗🤗
        The Fab Four of Cley
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I am too!!!! What an adventure.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Meg says:

    I’m so glad that you took that walk last year and can share these lovely pictures – they are so calming!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am delighted that you joined me and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in the garden. I am forever grateful for those who gave us the camera in the first place and for all the rest that made it possible to take photos with a mobile phone. Sending hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Ms Frances says:

    This is a beautiful scenic walk through the unusual Chinese garden just a year ago. The turning colors of Autumn are lovely and the paths show unusual Chinese architecture. The curved end of the roof of one of the small buildings and others show us the unusual Chinese care in the construction of their buildings. This authentic Chinese garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Vancouver and should be visited at different times in the year. Thank you for this look into part of Chinese culture! !

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree wholeheartedly about visiting gardens at different times of the year. Each season bestows a unique sentiment. Winter – rest and hibernation, Spring – an awakening, Summer – brightness and playfulness, Autumn, remembrance and thankfulness. Did you know that Dr. Sun Yat-Sen spent a considerable amount of time in Vancouver? So many stories that need to be remembered. Many thanks for joining me on the virtual tour. Hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Could you do a video of the garden during each of the seasons? I would love to see the garden in each of its seasonal incarnations.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Thank is a brilliant idea, Liz. I would love to take photos of this garden in every season. In fact, one of my goals is to take photos of the Buchart Gardens on Victoria Island in every season. I have Spring photos of Buchart so I must return one day. The gardens are mostly closed these days but I know that one day, we will be able to travel again.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Something to look forward to, then!

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Ms Frances says:

        💕🌷🌿🥀🌱🌷☘⚘💕

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Ms Frances says:

        💕🌷🌿⚘🌱🌹☘🥀💕

        Liked by 2 people

  8. What a beautiful and peaceful garden, Rebecca. I’m sure you are eagerly waiting for this lovely garden to reopen to the public. Have you ever watched the BBC2 series with Monty Don, “Around the world in eighty gardens.” It’s such a magical series and I know that you would love it. *hugs*

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I just found all the information on “Around the world in eighty gardens.” There is a book out that I’m now looking for – will keep you posted on whether I find it. This would be a brilliant read. Thank you for the suggestion! And thank you for joining Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and me in the garden. Many many hugs!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:

        Our library has this book, and I just reserved it 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        How wonderful! My library does not have it on their shelves. Still looking on my side!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Dear Rebecca, when I saw your new post about this beautiful Chinese garden, our trip to China came to my mind and one of my articles I wrote in connection with this country, salt and the book by Mark Kurlanski you had recommended to me!! Big hugs Martina https://rivella49.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/salzsaltsaledei/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I remember that marvelously information post, Martina. Your photos were extraordinary. I really enjoyed the book by Mark Kurlanski. One of the last thoughts in the book was about fish and salt. He said something like – in the past we had a vast supply of fish, but little access to salt. Now we have a great deal of salt but a dwindling supply of fish. I am delighted that you joined me in the Garden. It is wonderful to be able to connect across the globe and encourage each other. Sending hugs and more hugs your way!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am absolutely touched by your words about the FISH! I’ve lately heard a detailed report about this enormous problem in many country, which depend on the Mekong!
        I’ve always been very much impressed by the Chinese many capabilities, their art/gardens or parks as you show it to us in your “Sunday reflections”, or about their drilling techniques to dismantle salt ect. but now I think that a “father of the nation”, such as San Yat-Sen would be of essentional importance!
        I wish you a very good day, dear friend:)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        Sending many thanks along with my gratitude for your friendship. Hugs !!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary Jo Malo says:

    Such lovely autumn brilliance, as well as serenity. Your lovely city has so many gems tucked away for visitors and locals to enjoy! Sylvia’s pick sounds fascinating too…who doesn’t love a beautiful garden?!?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree – who doesn’t love a beautiful garden. The history behind this garden is very interesting which dates back to the 1960’s and 70’s when city planners were planning to build an eight-lane freeway cutting directly through Chinatown. If not for the opposition to this plan, Vancouver would look very different. Chinatown merchants, Strathcona resents, architects, and the Community Arts Council worked together in oppose this plan. In 1968, Vancouver City Council voted to scarp the freeway idea. It was the best decision for this community. A new plan came out of this decision and now, there are plans for a revitalization of the area. Our city has grown in population, so it is very important to ensure green spaces are kept within our city as we plan for new housing.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Green space is so important for any city!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I agree, Liz. And I think that city planners are making excellent progress in this area. Green spaces = happy citizens = working together = strength of a society. It all goes back to the environment, doesn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Indeed it does. Take care of the environment, and it will take care of us.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Lavinia Ross says:

    It looks very peaceful and beautiful there, Rebecca. Someday I may make it up there!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      That would be wonderful, Lavinia. One day, travel will come back. We have just gone into a new lockdown where we are not allowed to travel outside of Vancouver unless for emergency purposes. We live in interesting times. Did you ever see the movie, “Good Will Hunting” – this is the quote that came to me this morning: “You’’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” Thank you for joining me in the garden virtually.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lavinia Ross says:

        Yes, we did see “God Will Hunting”. That was a great movie. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Carolyn Page says:

    I am becoming quite invested in Vancouver, Rebecca. Your posts, your multiple posts of Vancouver and the wonderful centres of learning, the gardens, the walkways, the sights in general have me definitely hoping that Vancouver will become a destination I will visit one day. Simply beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Carolyn, Vancouver is awaiting your arrival. Right now, we have entered lockdown for a period of two weeks now that we have had a spike in Covid19. But I know that travel will come back into our lives. I want to travel your way too. One day, dear friend.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Carolyn Page says:

        Here’s hoping for travel for us both, Rebecca. Perhaps even a meeting!
        xoxoxo

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I believe in this possibility! Hugs!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. J.D. Riso says:

    What a delightful oasis. Asian gardens give me instant serenity.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that you stopped by! When I visit, I have a feeling of going back in time, of seeing an ancient age. I especially enjoy the autumn colour palette. Many hugs are coming to along with my thanks for joining me the garden.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I left you a comment but it must have gotten chewed. Lovely garden and the music again is a perfect choice. I remember reading all about Sun Yat Sen in a book –a small one in our classroom library at primary.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You have been a voracious reader since your were a child, Shehanne, have you not? I can imagine you heading into the classroom straight to the library shelves. Even then, you chose unusual books to read. You were born to be a writer, my dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh, that’s too kind. I have always read… a book was to be read basically, growing up. I remember in that series of primary class library books there was one about Narcissa Whitman and I read that too.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I had to look up Narcissa Whitman because I had never heard about her before. What an exceptional life. Thanks for the introduction. So many stories hidden in the folds of history. Always treasure to be found in those folds.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She did indeed have quite a life Rebecca. So many stories hidden sure enough.

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Jean-Jacques says:

    Thank, Rebecca, for sharing this wonderful tour and the beauty of this Chinese garden. It reminds me of my visits in person of a number of years back when I travelled to Vancouver quite regularly. Unfortunately, despite the temptation your tour provokes to visit again, our ongoing pandemic issues prevents us, so ever more thankful I am for this particular reflection of yours, dear friend…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Oh Jean-Jacques – I do miss travel and I know that one day that it will return, but for now, even travelling around Vancouver is getting difficult so I’m heading back into my photos. On Saturday, Vancouver went into lockdown with restrictions in place to reduce the increase in Covid19. I know that there are many people working towards a solution. In the meantime, as our Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds us: “be kind, be calm and be safe.” Those a good words to live by at any time. Take care and hugs to you and Marianne.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. How gorgeous among the autumn leaves! Rebecca I’ve always been fascinated with the cultures of the far east. If I were a traveler, I’d want to visit various “Chinatowns” across North America. I imagine such color and vibrant vibes! This post is wonderful. I’m sorry to be so late. Perhaps I had particular need of it today. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      You are never late, Teagan. You always arrive at the right time, much like the Delta Pearl. I would love to travel with you to Chinatown’s across our continent., Teagan. What an adventure that would be. There are so many stories that are waiting for us. I have been particularly interested in Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin which means “the One Who Perceives the Sound of the World.” Sending hugs on the wing back your way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m familiar with the Kuan Yin version, and love her story. Back when I made jewelry, I made 2 different necklaces with her image. (Not that I carved the image, I bought those parts.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I knew you would know Kuan Yin! You made jewelry!!! You are a woman of many talents!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your heartwarming comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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