Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gerberas in China

I was out with a student yesterday, in the city. We had to wait for her dorm friends near the Shaoxing Women's and Children's Hospital so there were a lot of florists there. Hospital visitors spend a lot of money getting elaborate gifts of flowers, food, and toys (no doubt for new mothers) in these shops.

I was interested in the Gerberas of course - and was trying to find out the Chinese name for Gerbera - but was out of luck. Couldn't fathom it out.

There was an arrangement of yellow and white christanthemums on a cane stand. My student friend just said. "These are for a dead man." No further explanation.

The flowers are spectacular - lots of Oriental lilies, and roses, and strelizia. Wonderful arrangements. But they don't seem to use wires with their gerberas.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


When I arrived in China a few weeks ago I was surprised to see acres and acres of small hothouses or greenhouses. It appears that many vegetables are grown under plastic tunnels just like the hothouse we grow Gerberas in.
I did not get an opportunity to take a photo from the bus on that occasion, but I found right next to my apartment that the college gardeners have a few plastic covered domes. They are not the quality of plastic over them as we have in Australia - and the structure is rather fragile compared to ours, but that is what they are doing with them.
There is a small garden hidden behind a hedge beside our apartment block, and I took this photo which shows the college apartment block right behind. I can just see a little of the garden from my loungeroom window.
The gardeners here seem to be older men and women and they work tirelessly to keep the massive gardens at the college in order. They ride tricycles pulling their carts, or just tie the cart to the body and run, like a horse pulling the cart.

Monday, March 10, 2008

English word for Gerbera in China.

I'm still looking but know that this flower is indeed popular in China. I see it in magazines, and I see many in florist shops here. Sadly no one in the florist shop seems to speak English, but one day I will find a student to go with me and interpret. I'd love to know what they call it here.

The flowers are somewhat different to the ones we grow in Brisbane - I think they are slightly different because they are grown in this very cold climate with some heating. But I need to check.

I notice with the Chinese government's meeting (National Peoples' Congress) at the moment, that some of the floral arrangements have colourful gerberas in them, as well as Asiatic Lilies.

What I have noticed is the large numbers of what I would call "strange" arrangements with cane and gerberas. The cane contraption is about 4 - 5 feet high, and at several points there is a block of green "oasis" - and there are ribbons, and gerbera flowers and greenery. Shops seem to have these "arrangements" on either side of their door for a special event, perhaps a sale, or opening or launch of new products. By the time I have seen them they are pretty sad and sorry, with the flowers hanging limply from the oasis, which is not in water or any container.

Perhaps they are expensive. Perhaps they are not. Sadly they look very dreary when I see them.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Gerberas in China

I am now living in China - for about four and a half months. I'm keen to see waht flowers are used and grown here for the florist market.

In the days that I have visited the city of Shaoxing I have seen florists as we drive by in the bus, but only last night did I actually see one up close!

Of course they have what we call Gerberas, but I am yet to find out what they are called here. One of the florists had a small table in the street (if was after dusk), and was making an arrangement. I noticed that they used "cups" to transport the flowers, just like we do in Australia, but the "cups" are made of paper, not plastic. There seemed to be some with silver foil, and others just white paper.

We were on our way to a restaurant with a group of teachers from here, so I did not get a chance to stop and have a closer look. Another time.

There is a big market in the centre of Shaoxing that has plants, flowers, etc and one day next week I hope to visit it - I'd love to have some flowers in my very bare apartment.