I posted a little about The Grotto in Portland over at Desert Year; the final picture above was taken there as well.
We also visited the Chinese Garden, which fills a block in the heart of Portland. It is exquisite, with so many small, intricately designed spaces, each one different from the last. And quite inspiring, given the miniscule size of our own yard at home. One of the most interesting aspects of the garden is the way in which sunlight is incorporated onto the multitude of patterns and textures by means of window design and tree placement -- you almost feel as if the sky itself is being redesigned. The effects are somewhat apparent in the image of the courtyard tile design called "Cracked Ice"~ just what it looks like.