What's blooming in the Chinese Garden this Summer?
The Lotus is a sacred flower and a symbol of Buddhism. This flower has cultural and historical significance in China. A Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD) poem describes the Lotus as “born from dirty mud but unstained, rising above ripples of water with elegance and grace, to be admired from a distance but not tampered”. The Lotus is a useful plant with its seeds highly regarded as nutritional and medicinal in China. Don’t miss your opportunity to see the flower in full bloom - it's only flowers in summer! You'll be wowed by the large vibrant leaves that accompany it too.
Persimmon trees in the Garden are currently producing an abundance of fruit. The Persimmon transforms into a bright golden colour as it ripens. This will mark a time for celebration and optimism. In Chinese culture, the Persimmon has come to represent the hope that ‘“Shi Shi Ru Yi” meaning “everything goes well”. A gift of persimmons would be well received if you're visiting a Chinese household as the Persimmon is associated with Lunar New Year as it is given as a gift to symbolise "good things to come".
As you enter the garden you will be greeted by white Begonias on either end of the doorway. This is a symbolic gesture of welcome. This is a tradition derived from the Chinese saying ‘a house full of gold and jade’ or ‘Jing Yu Man Tang’ whereby the Begonia, a symbol of luck and fortune, is located at the entrance of a home. The Begonias in the garden are just two varieties of a larger family of plants. One is marked by its tall stems with vibrant green leaves and delicate white flowers. The other is a shorter variety that grows more outward than the white, it has dark leaves of a red hue and its pink flowers are large and prosperous.
The Allamanda is an ornamental yellow flower with a striking trumpet like shape flowers which has earned it the nickname the ‘yellow bell’. It is located across from the Dragon Wall - you definitely won't miss it's striking colour when taking a stroll by the wall.
The Crocus plant is native to Central Asia. It was introduced into China through India. The most famous variety is saffron crocus which produces the precious spice saffron widely used in the traditional Chinese medicine and health diet.