Chelsea Flower Show this week, BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day today (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03w44yl) on the valuable role of the gardener, Summer BBQs, beautiful sunshine...we English love our gardens!
在这些花园里，很多美丽且罕见的植物，都是起源于中国和日本。19世纪的植物收集者，将一些种子带回英国，这些人包括George Forest 和 Ernest Wilson. 由于这些植物的神秘性和它们所代表的异域风情，它们很快得到大家的青睐。其中有一些花来自中国的云南，像紫藤花，帝王百合，血皮枫，小木通和杜鹃花。
I have travelled extensively overseas and in my humble opinion there is no colour anywhere else to match the lush and verdant greens across the English countryside in the summertime. Add to that the splashes of colour from the white Elderflower bush and purple from the lilac tree growing in the hedges and the golden wheat of the fields and you find a stunning backdrop for the privacy of the English country garden.*
Designed to bring colour and hope during the darkest and dullest of our short, winter days as well as pleasure to enjoy in the summer, we English consider the variety and colour of flora in our gardens and the timing of their flowering very carefully.
Designed to attract wildlife into our human habitat we plant fruit trees and lavender so that we can enjoy the pleasure of watching the bees and the butterflies flutter past.
Designed to bring sweet and delicate scent we might plant jasmine or Passion flower and roses.
And we like, if we can, to plant herbs for their practical culinary use as well as for the pleasing and bitter-sweet scent of basil and mint, chamomile and sage, fennel and chive.
Interestingly, all this can be achieved in a surprisingly small patch of ground. Fruit trees can be espaliered along a fence like washing stretched out on the line; herbs in plant pots and annuals (that flower for only one season) in hanging baskets from the external wall of the house. Gravel patterns, pathways, tall grasses, wild meadow flowers, vegetable patch, grass lawn, bird baths, bird feeders all add to the character and varied dimension of the English country garden.
Many of the common and beautiful plants and flowers of the English garden emanate from China and Japan. Samples brought back by plant hunters of the 19th century, including George Forrest and Ernest Wilson, because of their mystique and exotic nature soon became highly prized. Wisteria （紫藤花）the regal lily （富豪百合）, acer griseum （血皮枫）clematis （小木通）rhododendron （杜鹃） to name but a few came from Yunnan.
When China plays such a part in my life I find it thrilling that so much of her nature grows alongside ours and I dare to suggest that this plant propagation was an early form of positive globalisation - relationship building blocks between China and the UK, that is, the spreading of things that add value to people living in other countries.
Of course, gardens require time and energy to maintain; weeding, digging, planting, mowing, hedge trimming, edging of the lawn to get that clean cut look like as if the barber has just been, and the bi-weekly mowing from May-October to give the optimum look. And much of the hard work has to be done in solitude in the winter months when the earth lies dormant and it is likely to be cold and wet and frankly miserable to be outside.
With lives so busy I wonder how much time future generations will be bothered with shaping and creating gardens? Perhaps a virtual garden with virtual friends will provide pleasure enough...
But on a beautiful summer's evening when the sun is still warm and it is still light till gone 10pm, there is so much pleasure to be had from drinking a glass of wine and eating 'Al fresco' with friends and family and enjoying the peace and beauty of your hard work! Little beats it for me - but then I am easy to please.
Welcome to our club.
We are the largest, independent China-UK professionals’ membership network.
We are a unique and trusted platform for business, educational and cultural services.
4 Manor Gardens,
Bradford on Avon
Registered in England and Wales: 06785082