Dragons In The Garden and Perilous Hills

two Chinese dragons
Chinese dragons

Chinese dragons

Who would expect to find dragons in the garden?  Well these two Chinese dragons look quite at home in the park gardens.

When I first visited China, I fell in love with the beautiful landscaping that I found everywhere.  However, I also found some interesting anomalies as well which I will share along with some photos of the beautiful landscape areas.

Chinese dragons

This November scene above was found at Martyr’s Park in Changsha.  If you look at the trees in the background, you can see that they stake them rather differently then we do.

Chinese dragons

Look carefully and you can see that there are young trees beginning to grow out of either side of the window of this Catholic Church in Guangzhou.

Chinese dragons

OK, there are no anomalies here, just a beautiful setting.

Chinese dragons

While visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing, we were warned to be careful and be sure not to climb those perilous hills.  So, I warned my kids who looked at me like I was crazy ;^)

Chinese dragons

The scenery was just breathtaking in many of the areas we visited.

Chinese dragons

Don’t you think that this tree has outgrown it’s original planting area?  Maybe they should have read the plant label ahead of time to see how large this tree would get.

Chinese dragons

Beauty can be found everywhere, such as this museum garden in Hangzhou.

Beautiful Banyan trees

Beautiful Banyan trees just a block from our hotel.

Beautiful Banyan trees

Okay, I admit that this photo has nothing to do with gardens or gardening.  But, since there are two trees in the background I thought I could include it. This street worker had propped up his ladder in the middle of the intersection and had it resting against  the wires.

I have more pictures to share, some beautiful and others that are humorous, but that is for another post….

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
31 replies
  1. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    Love those dragons. Can you imagine the work that goes into keeping them looking like that? Lots of lovely, serene pictures you have. The humorous ones are great too.


  2. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    What lovely and evocative pictures from what must have been an exciting trip.
    I don't think the tree has outgrown it's original planting area-I think the area was paved years after the tree was planted and had grown, and then the tree grew some more-you see this in developing countries all over the world as urbanization spreads out to areas that were formerly exurbs, suburbs or even countryside. Unlike Europe or the US where much of the the urban areas would have already been paved and then the trees planted.

  3. Carol
    Carol says:

    What a delightful trip into China's gardens. A surprise! Great title and your photos are lovely Noelle. I love the setting with the hidden dwelling… a speck of red. Stunning trees! Wonderful post … cannot wait for the next. Carol

  4. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    Absolutely stunning, each one is beautiful and interesting. I'm crazy about the dragons, how would one go about replicating such a thing? I've been thinking of buying a 3 piece dragon lawn ornament (it looks like is goes in & out of the earth), but this would be even better! 🙂

  5. Gloria Bonde
    Gloria Bonde says:

    Lovely! when I read "dragons" I expected to see a gila monster from Arizona – Look forward to more pictures from China – Gloria

  6. janie
    janie says:

    I've been to Singapore, but that was long before it was China. It is beautiful too, and IMMACULATE! Not allowed to chew gum there, for fear you will throw it on the ground.

    What is the plant material on those dragons? I love that thing. I bet I could make an armature for one, but making twins would be hard!

    This is a great post, Noelle! Thanks for sharing!

  7. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    Thank you for visiting!

    I always appreciate your supportive comments.

    I heard the high in Denver was 17 today. I hope you are keeping warm inside :0)

    Thank you so much. I have lots more to share in the future. As a native Californian, I love your sharing your California travels.

    That was a thought I often had. I can only imagine an OSHA inspector having a heart attack if they saw that.

    It does look like a growth on the sidewalk, doesn't it?

    Hi FlowerLady,
    I don't have the patience to do anything like that, but I do like to look at it 🙂

    Thank you for your explanation. It makes sense to me.

    I am so thrilled when you compliment my photos!

    Hi Vickie,
    I can't imagine what his wife would think if she saw him doing that ;0)

    I think the dragon ornament would be much easier ;0)

    Hi Pam,
    I would love to see your photos of Beijing. It was such a great place to visit. But, unfortunately, it was overcast and smoggy when we visited the Great Wall.

    Hi Gloria,
    Well, you never know what surprises the desert may have in the future :0)

    Joene & SweetBay,
    Thank you for your compliments.

    Hi Janie,
    I think it was similar in China. They had signs posted prohibiting spitting.

    Hi Catherine,
    The statue was a Chinese woman and I'm sure she had some sort of historical importance, but I didn't think to ask our guide about her.

  8. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    Perilous hills, I love it, AZ. Reminds me of an email that was circulating during the summer olympics in China. When was that two years ago? Basically it was photos of street signs that got lost in translation. Very funny.

    I love these photos. They give China a much more friendly feel. I didn't know Americans could get into China. [The olympics were an exception, or so I thought.] Shows what I know. 🙂

    The man resting his ladder against the wires is too funny but scary too. What was he thinking? I'm surprised he wasn't sizzling on the ground below. [Sorry that was gross.] Love the dragons, the Japanese maple, the building architectures and I look forward to more.

  9. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    What a beautiful place! i really enjoyed your photos. I had to laugh at the tree roots – looked like something that might grab you if you got too close. Loved the dragons!

  10. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    I showed the last picture to a high voltage power line expert, the bottom wires are for telephone, so no worries there, and the next set are insulated low voltage, so not considered dangerous to touch. It wasn't that long ago that powerline workers in Canada were allowed to rest wooden ladders against similar wires. Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but maybe someone will find it interesting. 🙂 Rebecca

    PS. You're probably right about the dragon lol.

  11. Sylvana
    Sylvana says:

    How wonderful! A trip to China! Did you go with a group, or were you and your family on your own? I think I would like to go to China, but would not care to go it alone.

    They certainly have beautiful gardens. I saw similar "staking" in pictures from my friend who is living in Japan right now. He said that the Japanese value every tree and will do what ever it takes to keep a tree alive. I wonder if the Chinese have a similar philosophy.

  12. Kanak Hagjer
    Kanak Hagjer says:

    Oh those dragons are gorgeous! Loved the other scenes too, especially the water lilies photo. As for the root, the wires…you should come to India:-)

    Looking forward to your next post on China!

  13. Autumn Belle
    Autumn Belle says:

    The scenery are superb. How I wish I was there. They are so detailed in making the pair of dragons, they even include a pearl in the centre. This design of a pair of dragon looking at a pearl in the centre is usually seen at temples or on temple roofs. Maybe when they make it using plants, it tend to make the dragon come alive. People who believe in fengshui takes these details very seriously.

    The trees growing out from buildings and outgrown their areas are quite a common sight here in Malaysia too. Funny, right?

    I can't wait to see more of your pictures.

  14. Msrobin
    Msrobin says:

    So many interesting trees there in China. I especially like the trees growing out of nowhere on that Catholic church, and the other one with the roots on top of the cement. Amazing trees!

  15. catmint
    catmint says:

    Hi Noelle, i was in Beijing a couple of years ago, and I was transfixed by the gardens, so aesthetic, even ordinary roadside planings were so beautiful.

  16. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you for your comments!

    Yes, Americans can visit China. We saw many kinds of tourists while we were there. To visit, you probably need to arrange your trip through a travel agency who help you get the necessary visas and arrange a guide for your entire trip. I highly recommend it!

    Thank you so much for asking your husband about the lines. It is nice to know a little bit more about this picture.

    Hello Sylvana,
    I have been to China 3 times, when we adopted 3 of our children. Each time, you are accompanied by a guide, who takes care of everything and shows you all the sights. I a sure the Chinese feel the same about trees. Much of Japanese culture has it's roots in China (chopsticks, language, silk, etc).

    Hello Kanak,
    I would love to see pictures of the roots around India 😀

    I appreciate your explanations very much. I didn't know what the pearl signified. I would love to see photos of plants growing out of buildings where you live 😀

    Amy & MSRobin,
    Thank you for your comments. Amy, I am not sure how they created the dragons, but maybe used a wire form? Not sure…..

    I was impressed that their highways were also so beautifully landscaped.

  17. Tatyana@MySecretGarden
    Tatyana@MySecretGarden says:

    What a great post! Brought back some memories about my life in China in 1991. Of course, I'd take more pictures now! There were no digital photography then. Thank you for these pictures Noelle! Good eye!

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