Nearly twenty local residents attended the grand opening of the International Horticultural Exposition in Qingdao, China, last week. The highlight was a tour of the “Long Beach Garden,” representing five different historical approaches to gardening in our city—a project more than two years in the making.
Headed by Mary E. Barton, President of the Long Beach-Qingdao Association, the delegation included two officials from the Port of Long Beach who had also toured the Port of Qingdao (a sister port), a Horticulture group from Long Beach City College, and the High Tide Quartet, who sang barbershop harmony at the garden site and on a local television show.
“What a spectacular event it was,” said Barton. “We never expected such a huge, gala grand opening. There were hundreds of singers and dancers, even flocks of pigeons entertaining the international crowd.” Only two gardens represented the U.S. among the hundreds of gardens in this “world’s fair of gardens,” the other being the Georgia garden.
In the Long Beach Garden’s “bungalow” section, a porch swing was the centerpiece. “The swing was a very popular accoutrement,” continued Barton, “and the only one in the entire Expo!”
A committee designed the Long Beach Garden, including representatives from the LBQA, the Horticulture Program at Long Beach City College, the City Office of Sustainability and Local architect firm Perkowitz+Ruth. P+R provided the landscape architecture design, through its StudiONEleven unit, with assistance from their Shanghai office.
While in China, the local delegation also visited the P+R office in Shanghai and received a briefing on horticulture issues at the new Disneyland Shanghai, now under construction.
At least 13 million attendees are expected to visit the Expo in its six-month life, which will end in October.
Click Here to view more pictures of the Long Beach Garden.