The Topiary Thieves

My regular trips to China offer few opportunities to observe nature up close. By and large I’m confined to big, ugly cities few people in the UK have heard of, but today I am in Hangzhou which must be one of the greenest and smartest cities around. On my last visit I wrote about the […]

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Plant Portraits: Osmanthus fragrans (Guìhuā (桂花) or Sweet Olive)

It is customary in Hong Kong for 5 star hotels to have a house fragrance, pumped into lobbies in heady clouds and sold at great expense in the gift shop. However, it’s not often one steps out of a car onto the street in China to be greeted by a similar olfactory experience. In fact […]

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Rare Beauty – Hangzhou West Lake

And so, on the penultimate day of my business trip, I finally found somewhere of genuine beauty in China. This vast country sometimes feels so wedded to progress that history survives at best as a pastiche, at worst not at all. However the West Lake in Hangzhou appears to have survived relatively unblemished, becoming a […]

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