I just came back from Xi’an (in China Shaanxi Province) less than 48 hours ago. I went to see the International Horticultural Expo 2011 last week. Spent 3 whole days at the expo and probably finished only 90% of all the sights. The whole expo covered 418ha of area, with 188ha as water surface.
This was my first trip to see such a massive horticultural expo, and it was truly an eye opener. It was also my first trip to China. Well, it was an interesting experience nevertheless. I don’t think I can forget the sight (and smell) of their public toilets for a while.
Xi’an is now a modern and ecological new city in middle China. Previously known as Chang’an, it is also known as one of the ancient capitals in China for a few dynasties.
The concept of this horticultural expo is ‘Green Leads the Trend’. Well, they showcased some interesting stuff in their creativity pavilion, such as rainbow-roses and normal roses with gold-coloured petals. Hopefully, the technology for ornamental flowers moves faster too!
My favourite part of this horticultural expo got to be the world gardens, especially the Ancient Greek Garden, French Classical Garden, Italian Terrace Garden and Spanish Islamic Garden. One day, I would want to see the original gardens in the various countries too!
Of course, they have a New Zealand Garden! It took me a while before I stumbled across it. They planted some New Zealand native plants, especially my favourite Blue Grass (Festuca coxii)! Didn’t manage to spot any silver fern (Cyathea dealbata or Ponga) though.
An interesting highlight is probably the Greenhouse. The plants in here are ‘exotic’ tropical rainforest plants, African plants, butterfly specimens and other fauna. Well, I queued 2.5 hours to see the plants that I can find around Singapore streets. The first plant I saw inside was Bougainvillea Mrs Eva and last plant was Periwinkle.
All in all, it was a good experience. I met some really nice local Chinese, tried most of their local specialties, visited the famous Mount Hua, Terra Cotta Museum, and some other historical sites too. Now, I look forward to World Horticultural Expo 2012.