This summer we enjoyed a trip to China - my daughter's birth country. There were many familiar plants since many plants we grow in Florida originated in China.
and daylilies were still in bloom.
The beautiful Weeping Willow trees are in abundance throughout Beijing.
We enjoyed this colorful display of flowers in Tiananmen Square.
And, no it was not a foggy day. The haze that permeates this photo is air pollution.
The gardens of The Forbidden City are actually located outside of the city walls. The emperor was so paranoid that enemies would be able to tunnel in from the outside, he would not allow any garden beds inside the wall.
There are many beautiful and artistic outcroppings of rocks in this garden.
and lots of vines creeping up the sides of the rocks and buildings.
They have their "very old" trees identified with a colored label which indicates how old the trees are. This particular Juniper tree is listed as 500 years old.
The walkways through the garden are also very artistic and ornate.
I very much enjoyed visiting Youmin Temple and its gardens for a second time in Nanchang.
This very old Bonsai was striking.
These gardens are very typical of an Asian garden. Predominantly green foliage of varying textures, rocks and water.
I love the way the plants are growing beneath the roof line of the tallest pagoda peak. A very calm and peaceful garden.
The views and vistas we enjoyed on a river cruise along the Li River were awesome!
I took a photo of this homemade fountain we passed on a city street in case I ever want to try and replicate it. Even the folks in the big cities find a way to have plants and water around them. Don't you just love the 3 little concrete statues on the bottom right. I don't know what there meaning is but they're really adorable.
We were lucky enough to visit the Cloud 9 Cooking School where we learned to cook 3 authentic Chinese dishes. It was a lot of fun! While we ate outside beneath the arbor this passion vine was growing above us.
There was quite a bit of fruit hanging from it, too.
Don't you just love the way they dry their cutting boards,
and cooking bowls. The Chinese culture is very different from ours in many ways. They still live very close to to the land and very simply, although that is changing rapidly in the larger cities.
We enjoyed the peaceful gardens of another Buddhist temple we visited near The Great Wall.
A steep climb to the temple but well worth it.
You would expect lots of bamboo in China and there is. And, they utilize the dried canes to the max in fencing and even scaffolding. That's right! There scaffolding on large buildings is made of bamboo . . . amazing!
And, last but definitely not least is a visit to The Great Wall. There are many points in which you can access the Wall. The entrance below that we used was just north of Beijing and was beautifully and artistically landscaped.
You can either walk up to the top or take a ski lift.
But even when you're actually on the Wall there is still lots of up and down climbing as the Wall meanders over the top of the mountain ridge. It is an awesome sight with a breathtaking view, and when you take into account its age (began in the 7th century), how many lives were lost there (it's called the longest cemetery in the world because when the men died they were buried within it) and how they accomplished this feat it is unbelievably amazing.
We immensely enjoyed experiencing the culture and beauty of China this summer. It was an incredible experience!