We enjoyed so many sights on our vacation to the Pacific Northwest. Many of them were big places — Mount St Helens for example, which you will never see an image of here because how could I do it justice?

But sometimes the most satisfying places are man-made — especially places where you can see the artisan’s attention to detail. One such unexpected pleasure was the Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese garden in Vancouver, a place of peace and beauty. Just walking through it, even with a group of tourists, calms the mind.

Its beauty is in its details. I focused on just one aspect of the garden:

Walkway paving in the Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese garden

These hand-laid  patterns, made of pebbles of different textures and colors, extend throughout the outside portion of the garden. Here are the pavers in more detail, with a foot to show scale (we’ll pretend the foot was intentional):

Details of the garden pavers

The garden is a recreation of a classical scholar’s garden and study space from 15th century China. It was built in Vancouver in 1985, using materials shipped from China.

There is much more to the garden, of course. It contains a koi pond, a scholar’s private garden and study, along with courtyards and a lovely maple entry hall. It was a labor of love, recreated over a period of more than a year by a team of 53 people.

Still, my favorite part is the detail in these meticulously arranged pavers. Creating them must have been such hard work, but they are a work of art.

If you are ever in Vancouver, this is a place well worth visiting.