Located five kilometers (3 miles) west of the city of Wuxi, the Plum Garden in Jiangsu Province has long been known as one of the best places for viewing plum blossoms. The garden backs onto Dragon Mountain in the north and faces Taihu Lake in the south. The three elements-mountains, water, and plum blossoms-are combined to create picturesque scenery that fully represents the profound culture of Chinese plum blossom.
As early as 1912, Rong Desheng, one of the first national businessmen, invested in the garden and began its construction. He planted various plum trees on the original plot of 80 mu (13 acres), later expanding it. The garden now occupies an area of more than 500 mu (82 acres). It integrates natural beauty, history and architecture in a harmonious way.
Three sections featuring distinct themes are distributed in the garden. The part that focuses on the plum blossom has a romantic and poetic atmosphere. As you wander around through this 'ocean of fragrance', bear in mind famous poems and paintings composed on the subject and you will appreciate the wonders of plum blossoms more than ever. There are more than 4,000 planted plum trees and 2,000 plum bonsais including about 40 hybrids such as Cinnabar plum and Kermes plum. Enjoying a 70-year-history of planting, the garden offers a great many examples of members of the plum family including Straight Branch, Reclinate Branch, Dragon Swim, hybrids of plum and apricot, and cherry plum, many of which have been brought here from all around China.
You are bound to be impressed by the shapes of the trees and the poses of the plum blossoms. However, the garden is far more than just scenery. Dotted with terraces, pagodas and rare stones, the garden provides you with many favorable spots for appreciating the view. Furthermore, there is a museum where you can learn more about the natural history of plum blossom.
Roaming about the garden, you may feel as if you were in a mysterious land where windmills and hanging bridges are interspersed with coffee bars. The grassland, forests and flowers here have many distinct foreign styles and are sure to impress you.
Another spot worth mentioning is the Huaxi District (flowers and streams). There are more than 100 varieties of rare flowers and grasses growing under the trees, either along the river banks or amongst the huge rocks.
The garden now has many other trees planted among the plum trees such as peach, orange, and maidenhair as well as many other plants such as lotus. You should not miss the poetic and romantic view of the Three Friends of winter-pine trees, bamboo and plum trees-together with the floating snow, which highlight the garden every winter.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 30|
|Opening Hours:||06:00 to 22:00|
|Recommended Time for a Visit:||One and a half hours|
|Bus Route:||2, 88, 91, 206|