On the 28th of April, the International Horticultural Exhibition (also known as the 2019 Beijing Expo), the largest garden exhibition in the world, was opened by the Chinese leader Chairman Xi Jinping. The garden exhibition is a part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the People’s Republic of China to be held in October of this year. West 8 represents the Netherlands with an exhibit in the Masters Garden area, amongst four other invited world leading landscape designers: Stig Anderson (Denmark), Tom Stuart-Smith (Britain), Kazuyuki Ishihara (Japan) and George Hargreaves (USA).
West 8’s Master Garden, ‘Garden of Time’, is a symbolic journey of life: disconnected from the surroundings, visitors will be led by a narrow elongated path walled by red bricks, which connects a sequence of three garden areas, to engage in an environmental immersion. Starting with ‘Garden Of High Clouds’, where an array of shade is created by high pine trees and shade tolerant groundcover plats create a thick lush green carpet, where ferns and mosses dominate the palette. The ‘Garden of Short Youth’ is bursting with mixed uses of white and pink flowers across all seasons that provide a vibrant sensory experience. Here the focal point is a dripping pond built with volcanic rockeries in cubic shapes. Further along, visitors enter ‘Garden of Repose’ which expands on the idea that a wall, tree and seat can create a quiet and intimate place of harmony, celebrating the beauty and simplicity of the ending path.
Each of the garden areas has its own unique atmosphere created by different usage of materials, vegetation, shadows and colors, united by enclosed walls made of fired clay bricks – a material commonly used in Northern China for more than 5.000 years. Each of these garden areas provides visitors a different perspective. The symbolic journey of life concludes with a moment of reflection.
This Garden Festival aims to “integrate horticulture into nature and touch the soul with nature”. According to the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition Coordination Bureau, the target is a “new paradigm of global horticulture, new paradigm of ecological civilization”. Over a hundred gardens and greenhouses with thousands of species of trees and plants have been laid out on a 960-hectare site. Eighty countries are taking part and 16 million visitors are expected at the event located in the agricultural and horticultural district of Yanqing, on the north side of Beijing and close to The Great Wall of China. The expo is open until fall of this year.
For more information please see the official website here.