More Chinese Flowers (Videos)

Ice Flowers of China

This video was made in The China National Flower park in Luoyang showing the flower that many think is China’s National Flower, the Chinese Tree Peony; but TheGardenLady read that there is really no national flower because China has so many beautiful and beloved flowers, it is difficult to decide which one to choose. (see here)  Still the Tree Peony is certainly beloved by the Chinese. (And I might add, this GardenLady) The Chinese National Flower Park is renowned for their peonies and every year there is a peony festival in the city of Luoyang that is also very popular among Chinese tourists and among peony enthusiasts the world over. For a website that lists all the peony festivals in China check this out.

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Flowers from China

 This is how flower is written in both Chinese and Japanese.

So many of the beautiful flowers that we love in our gardens come from China. Yet how many gardeners realize where their plants originate? We, especially in the US and UK, are so fortunate to be able to grow these plants easily that come from China. Our gardens would be sad indeed if we did not have these plants. China is home to more than 30,000 plant species, fully one-eighth of the world total. Many, but not all, have the word sinensis in their Latin name. So we cannot always be certain if the plant originated in China. Horitculurtists still go to China to find more plants that we gardeners can grow.

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Tea Plants (part II)

Japanese Tea Field
Japanese Tea Field

The strongest flavored tea made from the Camellia sinenses leaves is called black tea or red tea.  Black tea is the tea which was most commonly sold over the years in the US by brand names like Tetley, Lipton or “Good Morning” organic. Black teas are made from “fermented” tea leaves.

What is called fermentation is really oxidation because it takes place when Camellia sinensis leaves are spread on trays in a cool, humid atmosphere to oxidize the leaves. This changes the chemical structure of the leaf, and allows the tea’s  characteristic flavor to emerge. The longer a tea is allowed to ferment, the stronger flavor it will have and the darker it will become. To retard the fermentation process the leaves are dried. After drying the leaves are graded -  longer leaves are used for loose teas and leftovers and dust leaves are used for tea bags.

Connoisseurs think of tea like great wines or coffees, each with its special flavor. Aged tea is considered a great delicacy in the Chinese culture. TheGardenLady was invited to  a Chinese tea ceremony where she tasted 50 year old black tea. This was a first for TheGardenLady who has attended a number of Japanese Tea Ceremonies.

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Chinese Garden Tour

TheGardenLady just received an email about a garden tour in China.  She knows nothing about the organization nor the people running this group so she cannot endorse the group. But she thought TheGardenLady readers might be interested in the following information.

China – Flower Blossoms & Peony Festival Tour April 7 – 21, 2009

Thinking of what to give yourself as a Christmas Present this year? Then think no further as this trip is the perfect answer!

We visit some of China’s most incredible gardens, sights and cities including Beijing, Xian, Luoyang, Suzhou and Shanghai.  Gardens that are thousands of years old beckon you to stroll through to capture
cherry blossoms and peonies in their full glorious bloom.   Gardens that will become your memories!

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