Saturday, January 17, 2009

A garden in Winter

I've claimed the downstairs balcony as my own and made it into the apartment's garden. Right next to the living room, it's quickly become the object of my affection during these increasingly cold and dry Winter months. With the exception of evergreens, the city is pretty much depleted of all green things. From high up, looking down at the city often resembles a sea of sharp brown tree branches. In just a few weeks the season's brown/grey colors will start to be replaced with with the colorful explosions from plum and cherry blossoms like the pink plant centered in the picture above. Their blooming coincides with Chinese New Year and seem to brighten up daytime the same way fireworks light up nighttime's skies.

The succulents

I have mostly tropical plants because they remind me of home. My favorite is the one pictured above near the top left corner. It's a tropical vine of sorts with a kind of cup trap at the tip of each leaf it uses to catch bugs for nutrients.

There are a ton of plants around the house, not just in the blacony. The plants in the foreground are inside the house, and there are also plants upstairs and in my bedroom.
On the wall on the top left corner of the picture above is a sign that these days is a common sight all over China. It's a red and gold sign with the character 福 (read fu, in a rising tone as if you're asking a question) hung upside down in celebration of the Chinese New Year, it simply says good fortune. It's hung upside down to confuse evil spirits and generally keep them away. The one we have on our front door was a giveaway from KFC, with a giant 福 and tiny little KFC logos all over the background.

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