Xinzhuang basking in cheerful blossoms as plum season hits peak
Plum trees are producing cheerful blossoms in the Xinzhuang Plum Garden and Xinzhuang Park in Minhang District in recent days.
This year's plum season started around January 28 and is expected to end in mid-March. About 95 percent of the plum trees in the Xinzhuang Plum Garden are in full blossom now, while some varieties – the green calyx plum and the prunus mume meiren plum – are expected to bear flowers at the last in the middle of March.
The 2023 Xinzhuang Plum Blossom Festival, which kicked off on March 1, highlights plum flowers of 97 different varieties, including the weeping plum, the two-color plum and the tortuous dragon plum.
The festival's main venue is the Xinzhuang Plum Garden, with two sub-venues at Xinzhuang Park and the Xie Zhiliu and Chen Peiqiu Art Museum.
The Xinzhuang Plum Garden will open its most unique plum bonsai park for free to the public until March 8.
The more than 20,000-square-meter bonsai park boasts about 200 pots of plum and stone pine bonsai, and 10 field-planted ancient plum piles.
The two parks have set up a host of photo-taking sites that especially cater to hanfu (traditional Han-style clothes) lovers, while an exhibition of selected photos taken by visitors of the first plum blossom festival and the plum culture of Xinzhuang is also on display.
Visitors can also join the online photo competition by scanning QR codes on plum-shaped notice boards in the parks and uploading pictures of plums for a trophy.
As part of the festival, a calligraphy and Chinese painting exhibition on plum flowers by renowned artist Chen Jialing will take place at the Xie Zhiliu and Chen Peiqiu Art Museum from March 7 to April 6.
The plum culture of Xinzhuang Town dates back to the 1930s.
In 1934, Yang Changyan, a fruit farmer from Sijing Town of neighboring Songjiang area, rented an orchard near the banks of the Xinhe River in Minhang, from which Xinzhuang got its name Xin (莘).
The majority of the trees Yang planted in his orchard were Japanese apricots and he named it the Xinye Plum Garden, the prototype of Xinzhuang Park.
The garden experienced ravages in war times before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, but its plum trees were roughly intact.
In 1952, fences enclosing the garden were renovated into a wooden gate and walls. Gardeners laid grassland inside it and planted Chinese peony, wisteria, cherry and osmanthus trees near the plum trees. The garden was formally named Xinzhuang Park that year.
It experienced one expansion between 1985 and 1990 and the second in 2004.
In February 2016, its sister park – the Xinzhuang Plum – opened to the public, with a larger land area of about 10 hectares.
The plum flower has turned into a township flower for Xinzhuang and is an important cultural symbol of the area.
If you go:
Xinzhuang Plum Garden
Address: 688 Hongxin Rd
Address: 421 Xinbang Road
Xie Zhiliu and Chen Peiqiu Art Museum
Hours: 9:30am-4:30pm (closed on Mondays)
Address: 350 Xinsong Road