South China Botanical Garden - Freezing but Fabulous

We had a rushed tour around the South China Botanical Garden this morning in near freezing weather. You can see, in the later dinosaur picture, I'm wearing a quite fetching scarf.

Apparently this is a subtropical/tropical garden. In any case, what it lacked in warmth it made up for in botanical spectacle. In 80 years they've accumulated some great collections of trees, cycads and bamboos, plus lots of neat and elegant landscapes.

The highlight was a recently opened quartet of glasshouses. The tropical house in particular is about the best I've seen. Have a look at my first picture. It's only when you glance at the top and see a couple of columns that you realise this is inside. And what great mist!

The next picture is the outside of one of the glasshouses (a smaller one), following by another inside shot of a waterfall - again the match of any I've seen created.

The Water Plants collection is impressive, as is the display. For anyone who has seen the Aquatic Plant Garden at Wuhan, this will look familiar. In fact Professor Huang, the current Director of the South China Botanical Garden was Director at Wuhan until a few years go.

The spaceship in the middle of the pond behind the aquatic plant tanks is apparently a viewing area - you go through a tunnel and up into it. Sadly I couldn't find the entrance but will keep trying for the rest of the week.

Ben Wallace helped design the newly opened Australian Garden and it already includes a veritable forest of gum trees and lots of interesting subtropical plants. You'll recognise some of the symbols on these globular sculptures at the entrance, and I've included a picture of a cycad named by our very own Charle Moore, with the label following.

The last two pictures? Well you can work them out.