Peony flowers in full blossom
Updated: 2015-04-02

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Tree peonies charm visitors with the bright colors, thick layers of petals and light fragrance. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The centuries-old Guyi garden in Jiading district is beckoning flower fanciers to visit peonies, the noblest of Chinese flowers.

From Apr 3 to May 3, the garden will display more than 80 varieties of 2,500 pots of tree peonies, as well as about 30 varieties of 500 pots of Chinese herbaceous peonies from home and abroad, charming visitors with the beautiful colors, thick layers of petals and light fragrance.

Tree peonies are exhibited mainly in three places: the Fragrance Veranda, the Stone Enjoy House and the Bonsai Garden.

The Fragrance Veranda has about 800 tree peonies planted in pots and land, including an 80-year-old tree peony called “Spring in Jade Pavilion”, which used to be a precious species in Shanghai in the 1940s. When in full blossom, the flower is light blue, with the size of a bowl and sweet perfume. It blooms together with a 100-year-old multi-petalled red tree peony and a multi-petalled purple tree peony.

In the Stone Enjoy House, domestically cultivated peonies contend for brightness with peonies introduced from Japan, France and other foreign countries.

In Bonsai Garden, nearly 40 varieties of 120 pots of tree peonies delicately bloom. These species are introduced from cities of central China which has hundreds of years of history of cultivating peonies.

During the one month’s exhibition, except for enjoying the charming peonies, visitors can also appreciate art works themed with the flowers, including peony paintings and calligraphies, and graceful, exquisite porcelains on peonies.

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Tree peony is a symbol for nobility and richness in Chinese culture and regarded as a national favorite. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The peony flower can be as large as 15 cm in diameter and is esteemed as the “queen of all flowers”. It resembles a symbol for nobility and richness in China, fancied by many ancient emperors. China does not have an “official” national flower, but the tree peony can be regarded as a national favorite.

During the Qingming Festival vacation, which is from April 4 to 6 this year, the Guyi garden will invite performers to play Kunqu Opera, a 500-year-old Chinese theater flourished near Shanghai and the the lower reaches of the Yangtze River Delta, and Pingtan, the storytelling and ballad singing in Suzhou dialect.

Dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Guyi garden is one of the oldest gardens in Shanghai. It covers an area of nearly 10 hectares and features ancient pagodas, marbled paths, winding brooks and scrolls covered with couplets.

The garden charms visitors throughout the year with different flower exhibitions. A bamboo forest with more than 70 varieties is particularly interesting.

IF YOU GO
218 Huyi Rd, Nanxiang Town, Jiading district, Shanghai
6 am - 6pm
021-5912-2225
Ticket: 12 yuan ($2) per person
Getting there: Visitors can take Metro Line 11 to Nanxiang station, then walk toward west for about 15 minutes to reach the main gate of garden, or take No 1 (No 2) Nanxiang bus at exit 2 of Nanxiang station to the garden, or take No 62 bus, No 828 bus, Shanghai-Jiading Bus to the south gate of the garden.
 

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