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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Living Displays In Chengdu, The Land of Abundance

Living Displays in Chengdu, The Land of Abundance

October 25, 2010
From the subtle to the spectacular, floral displays feature prominently in the city of Chengdu, the leading city in China’s Sichuan province traditionally called The Land of Abundance. Their bounty comes from the clear waters of the Minjiang river which has irrigated their fields and quenched their thirst for thousands of years. A portion of the water is used to grow the flowers that decorate their city in spectacular displays.


The Western China International Expo in October 2010 was a perfect opportunity to use floral displays as billboards to promote the event to the world.

Potted annual flowers set in massive frames constructed up to two stories high, fully represented the province’s natural abundance. Chengdu has what has been called a sub-tropical climate, humid and cool for most of the year. The small gentle annuals grown for public displays include petunias, marigolds, poinsettias and chrysanthemums, flowers that are also widely grown Jamaica.

In addition to the living billboards, the city has growing floral arrangements placed along bare patches of grey pavement, and also in what would otherwise be monotonous green verges. This gives colour and life to spaces used by pedestrians and motorists who are travelling at the street level. Curbside planter boxes featuring poinsettia and Phalaenopsis orchids were a delightful combination. We spotted the croton whose leaves provided an exciting multicolour mosaic when placed within solid blocs of colour, a plant that is perhaps overlooked in Jamaican growing arrangements?

Although not in Chengdu, these massive floral displays were but merely a smaller version of the massive floral fountain in Tiananmen Square in the centre of the capital, Beijing. At night the display is lit, and if you visit Beijing during the National Day celebrations you will catch a spectacular lazer light show. Caribbean Eye On China did not see this on our trip, which means that a return visit must be carefully timed. 

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