General Gao Zhansheng of the People’s Republic of China, San Francisco
Consulate, and his wife, Ms. Wang Yanlai, toured the courtyard with
four other consulate colleagues - our first official visitors of the day. General
Gao applauded its beauty and Sichuan-style authenticity and expressed
the desire to host consular events there on future visits to Seattle.
Seattle Week in Chongqing and Beyond:
• Visit 8th China–Chongqing International Garden Expo
• Choose Cultural/Educational or Business Exploration Tracks
• Depart Seattle on March 16, with flexible return dates.
The Garden is excited to announce
plans for the March 18–23 “Seattle Week in Chongqing” led by prominent
Seattle city leaders. Chongqing is a vibrant, booming city set in a
dramatic mountain and river landscape in Southwest China. Our Chongqing
government partners are organizing an excellent array of programs for
the two delegation tracks. Highlights will be the 8th China-Chongqing
International Garden Expo showcasing more than 70 gardens from diverse
regions of China and around the world, including our Seattle-style
garden, and a welcome banquet hosted by high-level Chongqing officials.
Visit the following links for more program details, travel costs, and registration forms:
Chinese Girls Drill Team Shines in Knowing the Spring Courtyard
gray skies on Sunday, May 15 did not dampen spirits for the Open House
Celebration. A crowd of several hundred people enjoyed martial arts
demonstrations, traditional dance performances, and the spectacular
precision and sparkle of the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team.
For more photos and story on Dedication Day events, visit the blog.
Spring Festival Gala a Great Success
dynamic, colorful lion dance energized the crowd of nearly 600 at the
Hong Kong Association of Washington (HKAW) Foundation’s annual Chinese
Gala. The primary beneficiary of the event was the Seattle Chinese
Garden. The estimated $100,000+ raised will support continued site work
and general operations.
the dinner, Consul General Gao Zhansheng commended “our friends in this
city and state” for major progress in Garden construction, predicting
it will become “a landmark cultural center symbolizing the longstanding
friendship and fruitful cooperation between Chongqing and Seattle,
between Sichuan and Washington, and between China and the U.S.”
Lee, Andy Yip, Stan Wu, Homing Tam and other HKAW leaders deserve a
huge thank you for their generosity and commitment to the Chinese
Garden. We wish everyone who has contributed to the
vision of the Seattle Chinese Garden a most fruitful and fortunate
Year of the Rabbit.
Farewell to the Artisans and Thank You to Volunteers
The Chinese artisans finished their work earlier than expected, and
flew home on November 10, timing that precluded planning a public
farewell event. Instead, Garden leaders, staff, and core volunteers
expressed their enthusiastic thanks for a job well done at an informal
dinner on November 9 at Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant. Gifts to the
artisans included a wonderful book of photos taken during construction
of Knowing Spring Courtyard. Speakers toasted their extraordinary
craftsmanship and their dedication to building Knowing Spring Courtyard
with heart, spirit, and skill.
The event also put the spotlight of gratitude on the numerous volunteers (on the right Jeni Mar and Helen Lum)
who ensured an excellent stay in Seattle for the artisans. Volunteers
planned and escorted the artisans on field trips, welcomed them into
their homes for barbecues and even a Halloween party, served as
translators, and helped many other ways.
Extra special thanks go
to the volunteers who made sure the artisans received lunches and
dinners on time by picking up meals donated by restaurants and
delivering them to the Chan Center — keeping the artisans well fed was a
most critical task! The artisans arrived on August 6 as strangers, but
thanks to our dedicated volunteers, they left on November 10 as old
friends — 老朋友。
Spots Just Opened for Garden 2011 Tour
family dropped out of the Chinese Gardens tour for next April (April
1-18) - and several spaces have opened up! Please consider this
wonderful, rare chance to join this incredible itinerary with garden and tour experts! One of the stops on the itinerary, the Humble Administrator's Garden, in northeastern Suzhou, has been listed as one of the four
most famous national classic gardens together with the Summer Palace,
Mountain Summer Resort in Chengde and Lingering Garden of Suzhou. The
garden is a masterpiece of Ming Dynasty Chinese classic garden.
Look Who’s Been Visiting the Garden …
stream of high-profile public officials and other visitors have flowed
through Knowing the Spring Courtyard over the past two months.
Congressman Jim McDermott came for a look on October 7, welcomed by an enthusiastic group of Garden supporters including Benjamin Lee (chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Washington) and Christine and Omar Lee (owners
of the Great Wall Mall). McDermott chatted with the project directors,
asked questions about the rockery being placed in the pond, and lingered
in the seating pavilion outside the northeast corner.
remarked on his role in helping to establish the Seattle-Chongqing
sister city relationship in the early 1980s, and his delight in seeing
this friendship between the cities manifest in the courtyard and vision
for the full Garden (blog link).
US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stopped by on September 20 with his good friend Jerry Lee, chairman of Mulvanny G2 Architecture (blog link).
Congressman McDermott talks with Project Director Yangming Chu
thanked the artisans for their wonderful work, saying “You are creating
a beautiful garden here in Seattle. This is an important project that
will help build stronger relations between China and the United States."
Other prominent visitors over the past two months include Lt. Governor Brad Owen, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, King County Councilmember Jan Drago, Former mayor Charles Royer, State Legislature Representative Bob Hasegawa; Bill Stafford, president of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle; Paige Miller, president of the Washington Park Arboretum Foundation; and Professor Jerome Silbergeld, Chinese art historian and director of Princeton University’s Tang Center for East Asian Art.
US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke greets the artisans
leaders and volunteers have been equally thrilled to show off the
courtyard to members of local garden clubs, docents from the Seattle Art
Museum and the Seattle Japanese Garden, architects and landscape
architects, Chinese language teachers and students, and many other
community groups and organizations. Come visit too!
For “inside” stories on the courtyard construction, the artisans, and visitors, check out the Garden Blog.
Knowing the Spring Courtyard is Complete
We are currently deep into the preparations for our public opening at the end of December. All public tours have been suspended until after the New Year. The Courtyard is complete, the artisans have returned home safely -
it's so hard to believe the amazing transformation! In early August,
Knowing the Spring Courtyard was an austere concrete structure with bare
steel columns. Now the ornate entrance gate and tile-roofed walkways
are finished and a beautiful coat of paint enhances the exquisite
Late afternoon sun casts patterns through the lattice windows on the northwest corner of the main gate.
The corner pond and its rockery are
just about ready for an infusion of water, while the stone “mountain” in
the southwest corner awaits the softening green of trees and
shrubbery. Our hardworking artisans have completed their work and
returned to China, but there is still so much to do.
We’ll keep you posted on plans and winter openings for tours in the
new year. Keep in mind the big celebration which will be a formal
dedication ceremony in late spring when good weather returns and the
courtyard plants will be in bloom.
谢谢! Thank you — to all members, friends, donors and volunteers for
your enthusiasm and the countless contributions that have brought us so
close to opening.
Artisans take a break after installing the rockery for the source pond.
Save the Date ◆ Saturday evening, February 5, 2011
Hong Kong Association of Washington Foundation
Chinese New Year Gala
Proceeds benefit the Seattle Chinese Garden!
The biggest and best Chinese New
Year celebration in town features a rousing lion dance, David Lawrence
fashion show, and more. Especially exciting news is that proceeds from
the silent and live auctions will support the Seattle Chinese Garden.
Can you contribute an unusual or exceptional item or experience for the
silent auction (minimum value $300) or live auction (minimum value
$1200)? Your donation will contribute to the success of the evening.
Please call or email Margaret Britton (206-523-4113,
email@example.com) by December 31st with your idea for an auction
Experience Immortality in the Seattle Chinese Garden!
tree or plant you donate to the Seattle Chinese Garden will become a
long-living testimonial to your support of the Seattle Chinese Garden.
What better way to express your love of nature and gardening than by
donating a needed plant or a cash equivalent for the Society to
purchase in your name?
We are especially interested in mature specimens, which the Society can
dig and transplant if it is in a home garden. We have a special need
for the plants listed below, but would like to talk with you regarding
any Chinese-origin plant, or its cash equivalent, you are willing to
Magnolia denudata (2); Pinus parvifolia (7); Pinus tabulaeformis (7); Malus halliana (1); Koelreuteria paniculata (1); Photinia serratifolia (5); Pinus bungeana (2); Prunus serrulata (3); Rhododendron mucronatum (1).
Artisans Raise Top Beam Over Courtyard Gate
pose after raising the top beam for KSC ceremonial gate. The red band
signifies auspiciousness, happiness, and harmony.
Milestone! The crackle of fireworks kept evil spirits away, and cheers
from Seattle Chinese Garden volunteers, staff, and supporters
celebrated placement of the topmost beam in Knowing the Spring Courtyard
on August 31. Not even the gloomy weather dampened human spirits. Please check the blog for more details and updates on construction progress and the West Seattle Herald for fantastic coverage with a wonderful video.
Artisan Welcome Party Big Success!
Sunday, August 22 was a
beautiful celebration day - the welcome party for the Chinese artisans
was attended by several hundred people from all over Seattle. The
artisan demonstrations were particularly well attended. Stories and more
photos to come. West Seattle Herald covered the event and posted a wonderful article and slide show. Come back to the Garden and watch our progress!
Check out our new BLOG for additional stories and artisan updates!
Brick Campaign Kickoff Dinner Big Success! Brick Campaign Order Form
Jon Geiger, SCGS president (far right), presents inscribed bricks to Chinese Community leaders:(from left) Benjamin Lee,
Charlene & Jerry Lee, Christine & Omar Lee, Tian Ho Tien,
Wei Fang, and Faye Hong
Our most recent
fundraising initiative launched June 19 with a Brick Campaign Kickoff
dinner at the House of Hong in the Chinatown/International District.
With the support of leaders in the Chinese community and a great turnout
of 300 people, the event raised more than $45,000. Consul General Gao
Zhansheng of the People’s Republic of China Consulate in San Francisco
spoke with great enthusiasm about the Seattle Chinese Garden as a
landmark symbolizing the many important ties between China and our
region and state. Stay tuned for a report on the dinner with more photos and information on
ordering personalized engraved bricks soon!
Major leadership gifts from the
Municipality of Chongqing, the State of Washington, City of Seattle,
King County, the Miller and Norcliffe foundations, private individuals,
organizations, and corporations have contributed close to 70 percent of
the $4.5 million cost of building the courtyard. Our funding goal is in
sight, and with continued support from Garden members and friends over
the next few months, we can open the courtyard to the public in late
June 19th Community Dinner Kicks Off Brick Campaign
The 27 skilled artisans from China this summer will construct the
traditional gate, the tile-roofed walkways, intricate windows, and
garden area for Knowing the Spring Courtyard. Every person who buys a
personalized, engraved brick will help Seattle build an international
landmark while creating a permanent legacy to honor family and friends.
Thousands of bricks will reflect our diverse community and personal
support for the Seattle Chinese Garden.
guest of honor at the June 19th dinner is Consul General Gao Zhansheng of the
People’s Republic of China Consulate in San Francisco. Please join us!
Attendees of the Brick Campaign launch even will be able to purchase
bricks at a special promotional price. Detailed pricing and order
information will be available on the website after June 28th.
Opening the Garden Gate a Huge Success!
crowd filled the Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant on November 10,
raising $115,000 for the next stage of construction for Knowing the
Spring Courtyard. “The great turnout and enthusiastic support from many
old and new friends gives us a big push to forge ahead to complete
Knowing the Spring Courtyard,” remarked Jonathan Geiger, Seattle Chinese
Garden Society president. “We extend special thanks to our honorary co-chairs and hosts Christine and Omar Lee, owners of the Great Wall Mall, for their extraordinary support and commitment to the garden project, and for the countless ways they contributed to the success of the evening.”
the “Opening the Garden Gate” benefit dinner, the Garden Society
honored Jerry and Charlene Lee for outstanding contributions to the
community. From left are event honorary co-chairs and Great Wall Mall
owners Omar and Christine Lee, SCGS president Jon Geiger, Charlene Lee,
SCGS vice president Jim Dawson, and Jerry Lee, chairman of Mulvanny G2
Docents Finish Busy 2009 Season
Over one hundred
visitors from near and far joined our monthly docent tours this year.
They watched a slide presentation on the magic of Chinese gardens,
learned about Chinese plants in the South Seattle Community College
arboretum, toured the construction of KSC, and enjoyed the garden at
Song Mei Pavilion. In addition to regularly scheduled tours, docents
introduced garden clubs, civic groups, and students from grade school up
to college age to the garden project.
Thank you to docent program
coordinator Judy Koenig and docents Sandy Marvinney, Leeh McArthur, Anne
Potter, Margaret Rothchild, Lorraine Toly, Dewey Webster, and Jan
Whitner for continuing to engage and inspire our visitors.
Docent Program Hits 10-Year Milestone
A photo from one of first docent programs shows a group of enthralled
grade school children watching a master stone carver from Chongqing
putting the final touches on a small sandstone “Happy Buddha” (left).
Since the spring 1999 construction of Song Mei Pavilion, the docents
have introduced the Chinese Garden project to thousands of Seattle area
residents of all ages and visitors from afar. Board member Judy Koenig,
Garden Society president at the time, created the docent program with
the goal to present construction of Song Mei Pavilion as an engaging
educational experience for the community.
Dr. Peter Ku Retires
Peter Ku has decided to retire from the Seattle Chinese Garden
Board. He has been an active and productive member of the team for many
years. Please join the Society Board and Staff members in thanking Dr.
Ku for his long and distinguished service. We wish him well in his
Visit From The
West Seattle Blog
West Seattle Blog visited the garden recently. Click here to read their article and see new pictures of the site.
Seattle author Wendy Liu Donates Share of Book Sales to the Chinese Garden
Seattle author Wendy Liu is making
copies of her new book available to Garden Society members and friends,
with 50% of the proceeds contributed to the garden. We offer you her new
book "Everything I Understand about
America I Learned in Chinese Proverbs," which contains 39 essays,
developed around 39 Chinese proverbs/sayings and based on 39 of her
experiences and observations in America. Order your copy here and help the
Garden grow, too!
An $8,000 Match for the Garden
City Association (SCSCA) is
offering the Garden $8,000 for a matching challenge. The funds raised
will bring us another step closer to completing construction of Knowing
the Spring Courtyard. Here is how it works:
first sixteen friends to pledge $500 will see their gift matched with
$500, for a total of $16,000 in new support for Knowing the Spring
Courtyard. These "Super Sixteen" donors will be recognized on the
courtyard donor plaque and will be acknowledged in the next Garden
of all sizes are welcome, and all donors from #17 on will be
acknowledged in the upcoming newsletter. Those who make gifts greater
than $500 will be recognized as "Matching Circle Patrons" and on the
courtyard plaque at the appropriate giving level. Help us widen the
Garden supporters at all levels.
please make your pledge and be one of the first sixteen to magnify your
gift through the matching funds. Checks should be made payable to SCGS,
6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106 with "Sister City Match" written on
the note line. You may also make your payment via PayPal by going here.
谢谢— and thank you
Master Creates a "Chinese Bonsai"
Puget Sound Bonsai Association welcomed members of the Seattle Chinese
Garden Society on June 22, 2009 to the Center for Urban Horticulture.
Cho, a long-time supporter of SCGS, created a specimen penjing (Chinese
for Bonsai), using traditional Chinese techniques. Jan Whitner,
an SCGS board member and horticulturist, gave a short presentation on
the Seattle Chinese Garden's plans and distributed Garden
literature. The Garden will eventually display a collection of penjing
in a dedicated courtyard and will have a nursery in which penjing are
Volunteer Garden Clean-Up Party
spent Saturday, June 6 helping us prepare the garden for
summer. Pictures are posted below! Are you intersted in signing up for
our next volunteer garden clean-up? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the garden (top left and right). Docent Dewey Webster weeding (bottom
left). Frank Su and Jade Wang cleaning up (bottom right).
Seattle Chinese Tea Appreciation Festival
Tea from China is one of
the greatest gifts to world civilization. On October 12, 2008 the
Garden society joined with Black Dragon Tea Bar to present the second annual
Seattle Chinese Tea Appreciation Festival. Brett Boynton, sponsor of the event and the gracious and knowledgeable owner of Black Dragon, assembled almost forty tea lovers at the
Center to sip a wonderful selection of oolong and pu-erh teas and sample delicious vegan treats.
As part of the program, Garden board member and docent Jan Whitner presented a slide show on Chinese gardens and led a tour of the building site of the current construction project, the Knowing the Spring Courtyard. Participants left the event having enjoyed great tea, great conversation, and a peek at the foundations of the
Garden . The society looks forward to the day tea lovers will savor "two leaves and a bud" in the Garden teahouse - a unique structure to be built in
Sichuan architectural style and sited on a Lotus Pond. For information on how to support fundraising efforts for the teahouse, please phone the society office at (206) 282-8040.
Happy people at the garden(top left). Brett Boynton brewing tea for the guests(top right). Jan Whiter describing the garden(bottom).
The Boeing Company Contributes $20,000 to Chinese GardenIn October, 2008 the Boeing Company generously contributed $20,000 to the
Garden Society to support capacity building.
Garden Society Hosts Officials from Changshu Garden Company
Society hosted three high-level officials from the Changshu Classical Garden Construction Company for a week in early September. The
Bureau has contracted with the Changshu company to manage the construction of the traditional elements of Knowing the Spring Courtyard. The officials visited the site to see the completed foundation work and met with Garden Society leaders and our local contractor to plan for the completion of construction.
COSCO Container Arrives in Seattle April 4, 2008
China Ocean Shipping COmpany has generously donated up to forty 40-foot containers to transport China-fabricated materials for the Garden. The first of these arrived in Seattle carrying stone foundations for the wooden columns that will hold up the roof of Knowing the Spring Courtyard.
Greeting this first shipment are:
Tim Banks-COSCO Seattle, Mike Craig, Jon Geiger-SCGS President and Yangming Chu-SCGS Executive Director
Chongqing Gives $1.2 Million for the First Courtyard
We have received a gift valued at 1.2 million US dollars from our sister city of
Chongqing. Chongqing has donated all materials, labor and associated in-China costs for Knowing the Spring Courtyard, the second traditional structure in the Garden. We anticipate opening this first courtyard in the fall 2010. Artisans from
Chongqing will arrive in spring 2010 to assemble the components using traditional tools and construction methods. Special educational programs will be offered at the site while the artisans are here.