"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Glimpse of A Chinese Community Landscape

It only has one week left for my three week vacation in China, and I finally found a way to connect to blogspot. I would like to make a quick post to give you a flavor of China :)

The first place we went was the hometown for both my husband and I.  It is a middle-sized city named "Wuxi", and located in Jiangsu province, east of China, about  one and half hours drive to one of biggest cities, Shanghai. We have taken kids to visit several local sceneries, which I am sure I will write more in the future posts.

Today, I want to post some pictures I took in one community where my in-laws live.  My in-laws live in a condo unit on the fifth floor of a 33 story tall building, which is located in a gated community.  Since the only outdoor space is the balcony, my in-laws don't have much plants in their house, but I am very impressed with the landscape in their community.

This community is located at riverside.  Willow trees, a very popular tree in this area, were planted along the river side.  I just love the weeping effect of the willow trees, especially when they touch the water surface.  Until today, I still have a soft spot for the willow trees.  Maybe I should try to find a couple of them to grow in my Florida backyard along the river.

Part of of the community fence  is made by bamboos.  Outside of the fence is decorated by stones and different ground covers.  In Florida, stones are very expensive gardening material, but you can see they use them so generously here.

This is the center park of the community.  Chinese people, especially for those who have retired, love to do the morning exercise in a park.  So this place is naturally becoming a good exercise place for the residents.  When I took these pictures in the early morning, I saw lots of people walking their dogs as well.

Not sure what is the name of this flower...Is this some kind of hibiscus? It grows as a small tree (see the right side of the above picture), and can be seen everywhere in this community.

This garden has those typical Southern Chinese garden features: Gazebos, pergola, stones, water, bridges, Koi pond with fish, water lily and lotus flowers.

Golden fish is very often seen in Chinese water garden.

Some plants we also can grow in Florida, and some we can not, like the Japanese maple trees.

Summer is the season for Lotus flowers and water lilies...

Again, we can see the willow trees were planted by the pond.

I can imagine what a pretty scene is when the wisteria climbing on the pegola blooms in spring...

Walking around the community, You can tell that the landscape designer really paid lots of attention to the detail everywhere.

This path is between two buildings, and is created by black bricks and forms fish bone pattern.

Morning glories are climbing on the bamboo fences...

This path is also between the buildings, but this one is paved by pebble stones that create different patterns.  Some people love to walking on the pebble stones with bare feet as the exercise because Chinese people believe the foot massage by the stones is good for the health.


This is the entrance of the underground parking garage.  Love the usage of the bamboo here...

This is the outdoor parking spot.  Isn't it pretty when covered by the grass?  It is much easier to the eyes than the plain concrete parking spot. 

The landscape also are on different layers. On the middle level deck, can you see a lady in red shirt?  She was playing Chinese TaiChi.  This is a very popular exercise among the Chinese people.  

Hypericum patulum thumb (the one with yellow flowers in the front) is used as border plant. 

I don't remember I saw this plant before. Its shape kind of reminds me of the princess flowers (Tibouchina lepidota ) that I lost.
Hypericum patulum thumb
Chinese common name: 金丝梅 (Golden thread plum blossom)
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the Chinese garden.  Although this community garden is not big, it does reflect some Chinese Garden style, and it is a very important part of regular Chinese people's everyday life. 

I have taken lots of pictures when visiting different places in China.  I will show you more of the China in the future posts after I return to US.

Before that, please enjoy one more auto-scheduled post that will be published a couple of days later... 

Have a good week ahead!

~~ Ami posted from China


  1. Hi Ami; the gardens and landscaping look very beautiful. Ami, I think the pink flower you thought might be a Hibiscus is a Paeonie lactiflora or the Chinese Paeonie.
    It is important that people who live in high-rise buildings can go out and enjoy nature in communal gardens.
    Enjoy your holidays and I am sure you will find many lovely scenes to capture with your camera.

  2. Ami ~ I am so glad you are able to post to your blog. I love your in-laws community garden. It is very lovely and peaceful, something we all need in our lives each and every day. I thought that one flower looked like a peony too. Glad Titania was able to name it for you.

    Your post has inspired me once again to keep working and creating a haven here in my own gardens.

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation and I look forward to seeing more pictures when you return.


  3. Oh, Ami, those gardens are so beautiful and peaceful! The weeping willows and Japanese maples are just perfect for a Chinese garden. And I love, love, love that parking lot. How I need something like that for my big white driveway! Looks like you are having a great vacation. Glad to see you got blogger working!

  4. So peaceful...the hibiscus flower is a double althea, hibiscus family. Love the parking area.

  5. Ami, I love the China photos. I was in Shanghai a few years ago but didn't get out into the residential areas. Asian cultures seem to create beautiful spaces both in business centers and around homes, don't they? I especially love the stones and water combination and the beautiful parking space.

  6. Ami your pictures from China are very beautiful and I'm glad that you were able to log unto blogger as some have told me that you couldn't. Enjoy the last week of your holiday and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your photos when you get back to the USA.

  7. What a marvellous community garden ... so many beautiful spots in this garden. I really loved the area beside the bamboo fence with the little stream and all those rocks ... such a lovely area!

    Sounds like you're having a great holiday ... I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your photos.

  8. Thanks all for your kind comments! I showed your comments to my in-laws, and they are very happy to see the post as well as your comments. I saved one copy for them since they can not read it on line (I had to connect to blogger through my company's proxy server).

    As of that pink flower, I compared the picture of Paeonie lactiflora and double althea as Titania and Darla suggested, and I think Double Althea (rose of sharon) is the correct name for that plant. Thanks for identifying the plant for me!

  9. Thanks for sharing these gardens.
    They are really lovely and its wonderful to see them in your point of view.
    Have a nice wonderful holiday too.

  10. This was sooo interesting to me and I'm so glad you posted about it. I've of course seen the China in landscape photos, but often wonder about the residential areas. It's really beautiful - modern, yet with that serene and natural outdoor space. What a great blend.

  11. I'm so glad to read your posts about your holiday in China. The gardens there are so beautiful and it is good to know that in the city apartments, there are lush green gardens and green spaces among the concrete jungle. I think the hibiscus that you mentioned you are not sure of looks like a hibiscus rosa-sinensis, double petal variety.

  12. What a lovely, inspiring Blog. Thank you for sharing and persevering on the posts--always a daunting task to keep up every day!!!!!! Yes, the parking lot in China remains a point of joy, relief from all the stubborn, dull concrete!!! Trailing willows by the water and gold fish darting in a quiet pool bring remembrance of ancient sounds of eternal quietude and pacific memories of glorious silence manifesting new dreams. Rather like the Wind in the Willows golden trumpets of silence laced with blissful anticipation before the discovery of a lost woodland child... Happy New Year for green gardens in multiplicity of beauty, sequestered in unfettered happiness.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...