Flo­ral land­scap­ing brings a riot of color to city’s streets

China Daily - - HOLIDAY | TREND - By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou li­wen­fang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans cross­ing over­passes and foot­bridges in Guangzhou in Novem­ber could ex­pect to see Bougainvil­lea glabra in full bloom against the back­drop of an azure au­tumn sky.

The flow­ers, which can range in color from pur­ple, red and pink to white and yel­low, cover the sides of 353 over­passes and foot­bridges mea­sur­ing 330 kilo­me­ters in length in Guangzhou, bring­ing a riot of color to the cityscape.

Thir­teen species have been se­lected out of a to­tal of 150 to dec­o­rate the bridges to­gether with some other plants. Care­ful man­age­ment, means there are flow­ers in bloom all year round, up from two sea­sons in 2003 when the work be­gan to beau­tify the bridges, said Ruan Lin, dean of the Guangzhou In­sti­tute of Forestry and Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture.

As well as look­ing at­trac­tive, the flow­ers also bring marked eco­log­i­cal ben­e­fits in terms of im­prove­ments to air qual­ity and mit­i­ga­tion of ur­ban heat is­land ef­fect — where a metropoli­tan area is warmer than sur­round­ing ru­ral ar­eas due to hu­man ac­tiv­ity.

Guangzhou has ap­plied for a na­tional habi­tat award for the project af­ter win­ning the Guang­dong provin­cial award last year, Ruan said, adding that the city’s ex­perts have helped a num­ber of other cities on the south­east coast gar­nish their bridges.

The flo­ral bridges are only part of au­thor­i­ties’ ef­forts to en­able the city live up to its nick­name of the “city of flow­ers”.

Last year, the city’s forestry and gar­den­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion im­ple­mented a five-year flo­ral land­scape plan, Ruan said.

Through care­ful se­lec­tion and place­ment of species and thanks to the warm cli­mate, sig­nif­i­cant blooms are avail­able year round. Kapok, peach blos­som and pink Bauhinia adorn the city in spring; Delonix re­gia, or flame tree, and Lager­stroemia in­dica, also known as crepe myr­tle, in sum­mer; Ceiba speciosa, or silk floss tree, and red Bauhinia in au­tumn; and plum blos­som in win­ter. Flower sight­see­ing tips are posted on the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s web­site to al­low res­i­dents to ap­pre­ci­ate the dis­plays.

Flo­ral spots across the city have been up­graded since last year to show more aes­thetic sense and ef­forts are be­ing made to pro­mote the love of flow­ers in Can­tonese cul­ture through ac­tiv­i­ties such as flo­ral ex­hi­bi­tions, pro­mo­tion of flo­ral sci­ence and sup­port for the dec­o­ra­tion of res­i­dents’ bal­conies.

In Septem­ber last year, as a high­light of the city’s flo­ral af­fairs, the Guangzhou In­ter­na­tional Flo­ral Art Ex­hi­bi­tion was held along with the an­nual con­fer­ence of the World Flower Coun­cil in Guangzhou.

Flo­ral artists from more than 32 coun­tries and re­gions par­tic­i­pated in the events, and over 400 in­ter­na­tional flower art works were dis­played in the city.

In ad­di­tion, ex­perts from Guangzhou led a team with mem­bers from across the coun­try in for­mu­lat­ing a na­tional stan­dard on flo­ral dec­o­ra­tion along over­passes and foot­bridges, which has been ap­proved, Ruan said.


From left: Col­or­ful flow­ers adorn a pub­lic park on Er­sha Is­land in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince. Flower beds bring color to a walk­way be­side the Pearl River. Vis­i­tors look at plants on dis­play at the Guangzhou In­ter­na­tional Flo­ral Art Ex­hi­bi­tion held last year in Guangzhou.

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