The opening ceremony of Expo 2021 Yangzhou was held on 8 April in the ecological garden park of Zaolinwan Tourist Resort, in the Yangtze River Delta Region of Jiangsu province, China.
With strict Covid-19 control and prevention measures, this International Horticultural Expo is taking place after five years of careful preparation and despite last year’s obstacles brought on by the global pandemic. It is hosted with approval from the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and organised by the Yangzhou Municipal People’s Government.
The ongoing Coronavirus travel restrictions foreshadowed many who could not attend the opening performance, which beautifully and vividly celebrated the “harmonious coexistence of man and nature”. Watch here.
AIPH President, Bernard Oosterom, sent a video message congratulating Yangzhou people for continuing to “make something beautiful, in the middle of adversity”.
He said: “The world will look on enviously as millions will enjoy the spectacular horticulture features you have created and all the national and international gardens.
“As ‘the worlds champion for the power of plants’, AIPH fully supports your efforts to raise the profile of plants and gardens and to highlight the importance they play in making better lives and creating better cities for the future. Now, more than ever, having spent so much of the last year unable to travel freely, the world is appreciating the benefit of ‘living green’ in their lives. Access to beautiful green landscapes is vital for health and wellbeing, as well as helping us to tackle the climate crisis we all face.”
The exposition is supported by the global horticultural industry and jointly sponsored by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, China Flower Association, and Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government.
Many people have been working very hard to make the unimaginable happen. This open-air ‘Olympic’ style event will, for the next six months, aim to show the world this area’s achievements with ornamental plants, flowers, and nursery stock and the latest technology, promoting the horticulture industry and international exchanges of culture and protection of biodiversity in the world.
Since ancient times, the Yangzhou people have attached great importance to a love of growing ornamental plants. The Yangtze River Delta Region is historically famous for its traditional Chinese gardening techniques and renowned for Penjing (Chinese Bonsai) and beautiful gardens.
The AIPH-approved International Horticultural Exposition covers 230 hectares depicting the unifying theme of “Green City, Healthy Life”. The Expo site is located at the west gate of Yangzhou at the junction of Ningyang, in Zaolinwan Tourism Resort, the largest hilly ecological park in East China, and the provincial tourism resort.
Historically, Yangzhou was an important trading centre at the intersection of the Silk and Maritime Silk Roads. This fact reflects the expo area’s spatial structure, described as “one axis, two veins, five cores and eight areas”. The eight areas demonstrate a horticultural celebration for visitors from around the world.
There are 64 outdoor gardens, made up of 51 newly built gardens and 13 Jiangsu city park gardens, which reflect techniques of Yangzhou’s gardening traditions.
Showcasing domestic and international themes, these individual gardens seamlessly integrate into the landscape adhering to the concept of “green dream, green construction, green life” and promote the event’s sustainability. Fixed buildings occupy less than 15% of the Expo area, emphasising the more than 1,160 species of plants, over 27,800 full-crown trees and 770,000 square meters of plants and flowers.
Demonstrating Chinese traditions and Yangzhou characteristics for the whole of the Expos period of six months, there will be a series of international horticulture competitions held in the international hall, including flower designs, roses, peonies, lotus, Chinese bonsai, micro landscape and more. Exhibitions and seminars focusing on fruit, vegetables, tea, flower gardening will also take place.