The gardens here are so important - a major part of the culture of this country. The gardens in schools, in parks, and lining the streets are amazing. The gardens around tourist places too have to be seen to be believed. I know of nothing in Australia that comes close!
Here at the college there are quite a few gardeners - I have no idea how many. The seem to be mainly older folk who take their gardening very seriously. They are forever pruning, weeding and keeping things clean and tidy.
Right beside the foreign teachers' apartment block is a small area - again no much space is wasted here - with a number of small green houses (plastic covered domes - a little more primitive that at our gerbera farm), and many pots.
The gardens are always being "updated" - the colourful cabbage type plants that were planted in garden beds, or in displays in pots, when we arrived just on four weeks ago, have been replaced - they eventually went to seed.
Now there are colourful pansies and cineraria everywhere. They put them out just as they are about to flower so within a day or so there are spectacular displays.
When talking with students recently they wished that the gardens here would be better. That is one of the suggestions for improving their college.
Yesterday we went to a Peach Blossom display at Loushen - not far from Shaoxing. The peach blossom was just coming out - in a week or so it will be more spectacular. There were many flowering plants and trees and the magnolia that are in full bloom everywhere were quite a sight to see. I will write about the day out later, when I can put the photos up too.
They are developing a new part of the tourist attraction and the work that has already been done is quite amazing to see. After the day out we were taken to a Chinese banquet which in itself was amazing, but it was at a restaurant in beautiful gardens beside one of the large canals here.
After our lunch we walked around the gardens to see the spectacular plantings and blooms. Everywhere, everywhere there are wonderful gardens. It is one of the overwhelming spectacular sights here. Hard to believe.
Of course few people have gardens - most living in high rise, and while some have good gardens around them, you can see why great streetscape is important.
As well with defined seasons here too, the gardens are an ever changing landscape.