Long Beach’s China sister city group is sending a delegation of 18 to Qingdao, China, in time for the grand opening of the International Horticultural Exposition on April 25.
For two years, the award-winning Long Beach-Qingdao Association and several experts have worked on the “Long Beach Garden” to be unveiled at the Expo grand opening. The Port of Long Beach has provided support for the garden in honor of the nearly 30 years the two cities, and more recently the cities’ two ports, have been sisters.
The garden comprises nearly an acre and showcases a historical approach to the many home gardens that grace the coastal city in the U.S. StudiONEleven, an arm of architects Perkowitz+Ruth, was charged with developing the detailed plans after a committee developed the historical approach. Their architects in Shanghai helped with translating the plant names and the construction specifications, so that the Qingdao-based crews could build the several sub-gardens included.
“After all this effort, we’re thrilled to be able to see the results in Qingdao,” said Mary E. Barton, Ph.D., President of the Long Beach-Qingdao Asssociation. We’ll bring some Horticulture students from Long Beach City College, and a number of others interested in this fabulous event. Most of this particular delegation has never been to China, so it’s a double treat.”
Included in the Long Beach Garden are sub-gardens that showcase the Spanish colonial approach, a “bungalow” garden with plenty of grass, a mid-century patio surrounded by its typical garden, and the latest low-water, native plant version, which harkens back to the “native garden,” which provides the opening to the exhibit.
“Gardens are typically public in today’s China,” continued Barton, “and we have tried to depict how WE experience gardening in Long Beach—it’s usually the outdoor living space for a single family, and thus quite personal. We hope it is perceived in that way by the millions of Chinese who will see it throughout the six-month Expo.”
The group will also spend a few days in Shanghai and its more tropical environs, before heading up to the Expo. Learn more about the Expo at http://en.qingdaoexpo2014.org.