Fuchias in the City - Hong Kong
Hong Kong On the trail of the fuchsia.
The climate of intensely urban Hong Kong, located just south of the Tropic of Cancer, is classified as humid subtropical. Weather differences aside, similarly intensely urban New York City has to move over when it comes to sheer vertical mass. There are supposed to be over 7,650 skyscrapers in Hong Kong, making it the world’s record holder by far. More people live and work above the fourteenth floor in this city than anywhere else on earth. Surprisingly, unlike the seemingly endless conurbation that defines New York City, there’s also an awesome amount of green and open space close 'round the city. Most of its development is crammed into a narrow ribbon between hills and harbor or wedged into Kowloon. Despite the attention to the environment here, however, it’s still the last place one might think of bumping into fuchsias. But, hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  • Hong Kong: On the Trail of the Fuchsia

  • The Hong Kong SAR adopted this logo-like emblem after it was passed to the PRC.
    It's the stylized blossom of a Bauhinia blakeana tree, called the Hong Kong orchid.
  • Hong Kong is an intensely vertical city of buildings

    and skyscrapers backed against steep hills.

  • Its street level is packed about as full of small shops

    and businesses as can be imagined.

  • Florists offer such horticultural treasures as a Buddha's Hand.

    Unfortunately, no fuchsias anywhere. Too hot and humid here, it seems.

  • Only on Victoria Peak do you first really appreciate this pearl

    on a harbor at the end of an eponymous river.

  • A city of almost 8 million rings the harbor in a relatively narrow strip.

    From up here, you only say, "Wow."

  • Helpful signs abound in the city even if oddly phrased.

    This floor WILL stand up to pedestrians!

  • Here, I was a bit perplexed.

    Do I watch for construction workers... or hoity-toity executives?

  • OK. This is high-level work I can appreciate.

    A gardener prunes a podocarpus into shape at Nan Lian.

  • A Tang garden lies beyond. Think you were born a little late?

    It's a recreation so it's never too late to Tang!

  • Across a bridge to the Chi Lin Nunnery. Typical courtyard garden.

    No fuchsias in the penjing forest. Sigh. Too hot!

  • The waterlilies know how to stay cool, though.

    They just stay in the water.

  • How's that grotesque for a spout?
    No wonder the lilies are keeping their distance.
  • Aw, he really is adorable.
    I want one at home.
  • A gardener weeds the dwarf mondo grass.

    Too much like a lawn so visitors are warned not to get carried away.

  • Back in HK, the Botanical Garden was founded in 1871.
    The Zoological Garden was added to it in 1975
  • It's a great park. Takes your mind off the sterility
    of the desolate mid-levels above and beyond.
  • The fountain has a funky sixties look and effect.
  • On the hot day like today was, what I really appreciated most was its cooling effect.
  • Checked out practically every corner but couldn't that one plant...
  • The urban planners of HK are VERY intent, down to a serving suggestion,

    that visitors appreciate the view.

  • OK. Let's take the bait and take the picture.
  • As you can see, a lot of other people are also very eager to take up the official challenge.
  • Actually, the excitement was this little King Fisher.
    Go figure that one out, urban planners.
  • The aviary doesn't attract so many photographers.

    I guess wild and free is where it's at.

  • Don't exactly know what to make of feral pigeons.

    Except to look over my shoulder entering the forest aviary walkway.

  • Luckily, the first pigeon encountered is an Emerald Dove.

    It's a beautiful forest dweller not an urban hooligan.

  • And the parrots are amazing in their technicolor feathered dream coats.
  • Passing from the large aviary to the greenhouse by way of a path behind a waterfall.
  • The climate throughout most of HK is humid subtropical.

    Explains the otherwise tender flora in gardens and parks.

  • Gloriosa lilies twine trellises outside the greenhouse. No feral pigeons here, thank you very much.
  • Inside the greenhouse is a section for true tropical plants.
  • It was in the cool greenhouse that gold was struck. Fuchsia gold, that is.
  • This gallery was air-conditioned to give its plants the cooler conditions they like.
  • 吊灯花. Literally the Hanging Lantern Flower. The Dictionary also says 晚樱科植物 for the fuchsia.
    Wǎnyīnɡkēzhíwù is a tongue twister. I like 吊灯花. Diàodēnghuā is easier.
  • Around the corner is a display bed with beautiful anthuriums.
  • They're a striking statement especially mixed with fuchsias...
  • ...artfully arranged to cascade down a rock as if it were a cliff in a Chinese painting.
  • It's a lovely incorporation of these plants into a classic setting.
  • Still trying to figure out the cultivar, though.
  • Outside is an interesting promotion of home gardening.
    It's a desirable means to relax. Typically to the point.
  • And over in a corner, a storage area.
    With ANOTHER fuchsia waiting for its moment. Go Hong Kong!
  • Coat of arms of the old Crown Colony of Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997.
    It featured a British Lion and a Chinese dragon as supporters.