A good way to get over jetlag is to follow the local time schedule with lots of physical activities, and I did just that by going to the 7th China Flower Expo the next day after I landed in Beijing. This once-every-four-year event is the Olympic Games of the Chinese horticultural industry. A brand new exhibition center was built for the show with many green features such as these membrane roofs doubling as rainwater collection system.
Next to these buildings is a 66-acre outdoor area filled with 34 display gardens from all the provinces of China. Most of them are well designed, although more on the conservative side with lots of traditional themes and elements. Here are some examples (clockwise from top): Islamic garden of Ningxia; White Towers of Yunnan; and Peony Fairy over blooming tree peonies in the garden of Henan.
The Zhejiang garden stands out as one of the few modern-styled gardens with a green wall made out of soda cans, an abstract sculpture, and many nice flower isles planted in the middle of a creek.
Here are some interesting plants (Clockwise from top left) Begonia Kim Jongil & Dendrobium Kim Iljung (Dictator worship is global as these were named by Japanese and Indonesian breeders); Cymbidium sinense with double flowers; Mini-Penjing (Bonsai) collection on a custom stand; Schefflera delavayi (I think):
The international display area enjoys the most popularity among all the interior show spaces with some North American presence. I chatted with the lady in charge of Piroche Plants’ booth and saw Hunter’s rotor head plus Scotts fertilizer at another booth.
All in all, this wildly popular 10-day event is like a bigger, less commerical SF Garden Show with a total attendence of 1.8 million. It is not as edgy design-wise as the Late Show in Sonoma, but I guess the general public probably will remember the music fountains and the fields of annuals for quite some time. The side benefit for me is that since I walked for 8 hours straight to see as much as I could, my jetlag never had a chance to kick in.