Plants, mankind’s greatest enemy, are finally on the ropes thanks to global warming. Teach your children how to hunt the last of these enormous nitrogen junkies by observing them in captivity with today's Groupon for membership to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Purchase one of the following Groupons:
- $17 for an individual membership (a $35 value)
- $32 for an adult dual membership (a $65 value)
- $37 for a family membership (a $75 value)
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first garden outside of The People's Republic constructed in the fashion of a Ming Dynasty scholar's residence. The serene naturescape features asymmetrical arrangements, winding paths, and scenic vistas that overlook the garden's courtyards. Depending on the level purchased, an annual membership at the garden gets you, you and your mate, or you and your family (two adults and children under 17) unlimited access to the gardens for a whole year. On top of more garden-gazing than you can fathom, you'll get discounted entry to most programs and events and festivals thrown throughout the year, exclusive invites to members-only soirees, a litter of live pug puppies, a free subscription to the garden's newsletter, and 10% off purchases at the garden's gift shop. Welcome an out-of-town visitor or flower-phobic hypnotist to the placid escape with a complimentary free pass to the gardens (two passes are provided with the dual or family membership), or retreat to a different garden for a change with 10% off admission to VanDusen Botanical Garden.
More than 50 artists from Suzhou, China, spent months building the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the tradition of their native land (without the use of power tools, nails, screws, or glues), and all the non-plant and water materials found throughout the grounds—tiles, windows, pizzas, and pebbles—were imported directly from China. Covered pathways and thoughtful design make the garden a delight in any season, offering a warm and contemplative glimpse into nature's rhythms and perpetual desires for ice cream.
This deal is not valid for current members.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a Frommer's Very Highly Recommended destination, and it was featured on Vancouver magazine's It List. TripAdvisors and Yelpers give it a four-star average:
- To foster opposition (and thus harmony) in the garden, Chinese designers place contrasting elements in juxtaposition: Soft-moving water flows across solid stone; smooth, swaying bamboo grows around gnarled immovable rocks; dark pebbles are placed next to light pebbles in the paving. – Frommer's
- It's a great place to get away, do some thinking, meditating, refocusing of the mind, or get a few cool photos. – Megan S., Yelp
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
China is famous for its breathtaking and meticulously landscaped gardens, the most famous of which were designed hundreds of years ago, during the Ming Dynasty. The ancient tradition is alive and well at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, where guests will find the same signature symmetrical arrangements and winding paths popular on the other side of the world.
Yet the garden isn't simply a recreation of the real thing—it was built by actual Chinese artisans from Suzhou, who constructed each walkway and hall in the traditional manner, using intricate joinery that does not require nails, screws, or glue. And, just like the gardens of a thousand years ago, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden boasts a design that aims to strike a balance between four elements: rock, water, plants, and architecture.
- The rock: The garden's rock formations range from a man-made mountain at the center of the garden to a scattering of water-worn limestone boulders. The common denominator? They're all imported from the Suzhou's Lake Tai, down to the pebble.
- The water: Jade green, due to the clay that lines the bottom of the garden's pond. The hue is an intentional artistic choice, meant to enhance the pond's reflections.
- The plants: A blend of local plants and native Chinese ones, the garden's collection of flora ranges from cypress to miniature rhododendrons. Clusters of three winter plants—pine, bamboo, and winter-flowering plum—stud the terrain, symbolizing strength and rebirth.
- The architecture: Visitors can step into assorted pavilions, including The Han Bi Xie (Jade Water Pavilion), which appears to float on the surface of the pond. The water flowing underneath it also keeps it refreshingly cool in the summer.