For a spring break, take a stroll in our beautiful backyard
A holiday overseas is still out of the question, and travel elsewhere in China may be fraught with limitations. So if you hanker for a springtime break, look no further than our own doorstep.
City parks are abloom, and spring flowers are an uplifting reminder of renewal and hope for the future. Why not get out and let them inspire you!
Cemeteries are not fully open for the upcoming Qingming Festival Holiday, but botanical gardens and suburban parks will be providing venues to get out and take in the beauty of the season.
Follow Shanghai Daily to see what can be seen and what you should do to prepare yourself before going out.
“I must have flowers, always and always.” ― French painter Claude Monet
Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden
The botanical garden in Songjiang District becomes a sea of flowers every year around this time.
The forest of cherry blossom trees near Gate 1 is the most popular site to view the Yoshino cherry, one of the most beautiful blossom breeds. Along an 800-meter boulevard, breezes jostle the blossoms, creating a pink carpet underfoot.
Apart from cherry blossoms, bearded and Dutch irises are also in full bloom.
The garden says that bearded irises love to grow in the shadow of humid places, such as creek banks or near the forests. Walking along the plank passageway in the garden, visitors can see the flowers’ curly, white petals under the trees. They look like white butterflies dancing in the thick grass.
Dutch irises are starting to bloom in another corner of the garden. It’s easy to see why these flowers were such an inspiration for art masters like Vincent Van Gough and Claude Monet.
After the Dutch irises, other more than 300 breeds of irises will bloom through the end of spring to early summer.
Address: 3888 Chenhua Highway (near Dongjing Station of Metro Line 9)
“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”― Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzo
Shanghai Botanical Garden
Cherry blossoms have created a palette of pink, white and mauve in parks, streets and campuses. But if you are interested in exploring other flowers not so commonly seen, this oldest botanical garden in the city is the place to go.
Banana shrubs have just entered full-bloom stage. The small-petaled, light-yellow flowers emit a strong yet pleasant fragrance.
An ancient Chinese poet once wrote: “You can steal every other flower, but banana shrubs, because their fragrance, will give you away in places you’d never expect.”
This is also an ideal season for viewing the Japanese snow willow, or Thunberg spiraea. Its small, pure white flowers pile one after another on thin twigs, resembling snow when viewed from afar.
Meanwhile, the garden will host the opening of the Shanghai International Flower Show on April 25. Although the status of the coronavirus epidemic may place some limitations the event, botanists are trying their best to coordinate more flowers, including ones grown in the garden’s own greenhouses, to be displayed at the show.
Address: 997 Longwu Rd (near Shilong Station of Metro Line 3)
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”― US botanist Luther Burbank
The suburban parks
In Minhang District, the Pujiang Country Park has become a blanket of spring flowers.
In a garden under a small castle, flowers are arranged in different, modern-looking patterns. A hedge maze increases the fun.
Meanwhile, Changxing Island Country Park, the largest of its kind in Shanghai, provides another spring gateway for visitors.
Its main attraction is 4.3-hectare Huaxi Lake, created after a meteorite fell in 1966. Near the lake is a valley filled with colorful spring flowers, including a vast field of golden rape flowers. Amid all the angst of the coronavirus, a boat trip on the lake is a pleasurable respite.
Pujiang Country Park
2578 Puxing Highway (near Shendu Highway Station of Metro Line 8)
Changxing Island Country Park
Fenghuang Highway, Changxing Island (Take the Shenchong No. 4 Bus at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Station of Metro Line 2, and disembark at the Changxing Island Transport Hub for the short walk to the park.)
“Can you look at a flower without thinking?” ― Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti
Jing’an Sculpture Park
If you don’t want to take a long ride out to the suburbs, there are many vantage points in the downtown area for viewing flowers.
In Jing’an Sculpture Park, the tulips are now in full bloom.
Cast in shades of red, white and orange, the distinctive flowers form bright-colored patterns. Animal sculptures are embedded in the floral sea.
Crabapple flowers will soon be in full bloom. In the eastern corner of the park, a copse of crabapple trees, with their tiny pink flowers, acts as a shield to the noise of nearby Beijing Road W.
Address: 500 Beijing Rd W.
If you go:
Most parks in Shanghai are requiring visitors to show their health codes before entering. Visitors will get their temperatures taken at park entrances, and wearing masks is still advisable, especially when you find more visitors than expected.
To control crowds, some of the parks require visitors to make reservation in advance at their official websites or WeChat accounts.