Category Archives: Garden

My Secret Weekend Picnic Place

I admit I hesitated a little bit before I want to share the place. It is my favorite place to picnic, which is within walking distance from where I live. The best part of it is, no one knows about it, so it is always “one-family” picnic camp ground. Anyway. Let me share the secret with the hope that others may also be able to enjoy the great place.

Culture Park

Its address:

Gaoke West Road, and Bohua Road. If you drive from west to east on Gaoke West Road, turn left at the traffic light. There is a small blue gate that you can drive your car into it

It is the site of future Culture Park. It has been planned since I moved to the area in 2004. 7 years past, the park is still the grassland. Now, it is the cultivating place for trees that may be used in other parks. Strictly speaking, it is not an open park yet, so no one knows its existence. The half closed gate effectively drive most of visitors away.

Here is the map.

map-shanghai.culture.park.png

Map in courtesy of Google Maps

The Camp Ground

I took some photos of a small picnic of this afternoon. Nice weather, and it is completely relaxing to sit there, look at the kids to play ball on the grass, and laugh together in the tent, or brings them to a walk between the trees. The best part of this camp ground is, it is free – money free, and people free.

shanghai-culture.park-grass.jpg

shanghai-culture.park-tent.jpg

shanghai-culture.park-kids.jpg

Notice

There are certain rules, I hope everyone honors if you visit the place.

  • Never part your car on grass. There are small grassland among the main entrance, and branch road. Park ON the road, not the grass. It is OK to block the road since there is no traffic at all, and you can move your car if needed, but do NOT let the tier touch the grass.
  • Don’t liter. Bring everything you bring in with you. It is a free park, and the maintaining staff were kind enough to open the door to allow families to coming, so don’t give them additional burden to clean your stuff. They are not obligated to do so.

Maybe I will see you some day in the Culture Park site. Enjoy your weekend.

Nissan Teana 2.5 XL

I started to drive the new white Nisson Teana. We still haven’t given it a name yet, but will surely do that in few days. Here are some initial thoughts

Bigger Car is Not Necessarily Better than Small One

For the first time, I realized that bigger car is not as convenient as small car, especially in crowded city like Shanghai. I picked up my feeling of a new driver again – on the elevated highway, I started to complain the lanes are too narrow. At parking lots, I have to reverse the car to the narrow place – before, I always dive into the parking lot without even slow down too much – the benefit of a small car.

CVT

The Teana CVT’s impact to driving is obvious. When I accelerate, the engine’s speed is always 2800 round/min, and stick there as a constant. That is very different from the 5AT automatic shift, or manual shift.

V6

The V6 engine is very quiet. That also brings a problem. Wendy forgot to turn on the engine for several times. There are not very good ways to identify whether the engine is on or off without look at the big orange Start button. It is too quiet.

Keys Always in Pocket

My favorite part of the design is, you never need to bring the key out of your pocket.

When you go near the car, the car is automatically unlocked, and you can press a small button in the handle to open the car. Then you just need to press the big orange start button to start the engine, and you are on the road.

At the destination, you just left the car. If you are 85cm away from the car, it is locked automatically, and the front lights are closed. That is a very nice feature. I know myself better than anyone else. I tend to be attracted by small stuff like this than the power of the engine.

Need More Time

There are many great feature that I have not explored yet. I need more time to get used to the new car.

Photos in the Garden outside My Home

After reading the last chapter of Alan de Botton’s The Art of Travel, I decided to go out to the small garden outside my home. It is so small, that I didn’t think there is anything interested there, but I found a lot. Look at the pictures I took!

Fu (Happiness) on my door. Red is the typical Chinese color, and he followers indicates prosperity

Buildings behind trees – typical feeling in the warm winter

Big tree at the entrance – How come I never really thought about it. If you ask me about what is the biggest tree in your garden, I may only be able to think of the smaller trees in my own garden.

Flowers in Spring, in my Garden

This is late spring, or arguably early summer. Look at these flowers in my garden. All the pictures were taken in the 24 Hours of Flickr event on May 5, 2007.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Shall I create some post cards with these photos, and nice flowers?

Brick Road in the Garden

To spend few hours to do labor work brought my great happiness. Today, I made a brick road in my garden by myself.

The Area

The 1.1m x 3.0m corner at the inner most of the garden was full of wild grass. I didn’t have the right time to cut the grass, so they grew wildly. I felt embarrassing at the very beginning – I know to left grass like that is very bad thing for neighbors, but recently, I found the grass of my neighbor is even worse. :-)

So this weekend, I decided to use bricks to cover the area, and leave some space for flowers in the future.

The Bricks

I found when you do it by yourself, it is much cheaper. This is what I did.

We drove to Hengda 恒大 Stone Market.

All kinds of stones were sold there in the warehouse way.

We bought 36 piece of 200mm x 400mm x 10mm bricks. They are heavy! It took me quite some time to move it to the back of the car and to the garden – two piece at a time. We calculated again and again how heavy it is to ensure our car is OK with the stones at the end. The conclusion is, the 100kg stone is not heavier than three persons sitting in the back. So we were on the road.

Removed the Grass and Lay on the Bricks

We removed the grass, and laid on the bricks. We didn’t have time to pave the ground yet. Will do it later.

It looks not so good so far. I hope when we paved the soil and lay the bricks again, and put some grass seeds, decoration stones in the spaces, it will look better – I hope so, at least.

Tulip Blooms in my Garden

Hey. Look at my tulip!

Picture taken by Wendy

It sleeps for several months;

It wakes for several weeks;

and now it blooms in my garden!

Along with my tulips, other flowers and trees also welcome the arrival of Spring.

Picture taken by Wendy

Picture taken by Wendy

P.S. My cats? They are still doing well in my garden, but since I often forget to feed them, especially after long business trip, they left the garden to find food some where else. So currently, our relation is just like visitors and a bar. They visit the garden for fun, and sometimes sit outside the window of my reading room, staring curiously at me. They seem don’t understand how computer and Internet work yet.

Update: April 8, 2006

This picture is taken today.

Picture taken by Jian Shuo Wang

I am a little bit disappointed because the tulip dealer lied. They said there are five difference colors, and we picked from red, yellow, orange, pink… Even dark purple – they are more expensive than other colors. But it turned out every one is purple. Anyway, I don’t like the dealer, but I love the flowers, every single one of them so much.

P.S. At around 10:00 PM, the network seems to completely stop working. It should be the rush hours for network.

Tulip Wakes Up in my Garden

When I put the 17 tulip roots into the soil of my garden, and let “Tulip Sleeps in my Garden” on Nov 9, 2005, to be honest, I never really believed that they will come out. I have never plant Tulip before, and the soil in my garden is not good – I didn’t change the soil, so it is still not different from that on the construction site. Here is what I wrote on Nov 9, 2005.

I think Nov is just the right time to plant Tulip. We went to the flower and plants market at the Long Yang Road Metro Station (just about 200 meters south of the station), and got some roots of Tulip. I carefully put them into the soil and keep my finger crossed for good luck of the Tulips.

Hopefully, next Feb, they will grow up and have followers. I hope to share the picture of the Tulips in my garden about 4 months later.

To plant something is a pleasant experience. It brings me closer to the nature, and it helps me to learn planning better. Everything is going on so quickly, and becoming quicker and quicker, thus gives us the wrong image that we can speed up a lot of things. Plants and flowers are there to remind us silently, and gracefully that there are many things that you must be patient about. If I want nice flower next spring, I have to plant it now. If I want to get good business or personal life result, I need to plant now.

Guess what happened? Today, when Wendy’s friends visited us and I showed the Tulip site, pointed to the soil and repeated the story that I don’t really believe: “Hopefully, they will come out some time this month…”, I suddenly found something different there.

What a magic: they REALLY come out of soil!

See the pictures:

shanghai-tulip-1.jpg

shanghai-tulip-3.jpg

shanghai-tulip-4.jpg

shanghai-tulip-5.jpg

shanghai-tulip-many.jpg

shanghai-tulip-up.jpg

Tulip Sleeps in my Garden

After the Art of Travel, another book I am seriously reading these weeks are:

The Botany of Desire, a plant’s-eye view of the world

It is a book about plant’s world. Very interesting and help us to be more clear about the human being’s role in the world.

In the book, the author Pollan talked about four plants in four chapters

Apple, Tulip, Potato and Marijuana

They were taken as example of how the Botany of Desire of plants guided human’s behavior.

So……

I think Nov is just the right time to plant Tulip. We went to the flower and plants market at the Long Yang Road Metro Station (just about 200 meters south of the station), and got some roots of Tulip. I carefully put them into the soil and keep my finger crossed for good luck of the Tulips.

Hopefully, next Feb, they will grow up and have followers. I hope to share the picture of the Tulips in my garden about 4 months later.

To plant something is a pleasant experience. It brings me closer to the nature, and it helps me to learn planning better. Everything is going on so quickly, and becoming quicker and quicker, thus gives us the wrong image that we can speed up a lot of things. Plants and flowers are there to remind us silently, and gracefully that there are many things that you must be patient about. If I want nice flower next spring, I have to plant it now. If I want to get good business or personal life result, I need to plant now.

Now when I am writing my personal life plan and business plan, I take my 17 little Tulip as a compass and measure. Just as I discussed before, Pressure is About Expectation, when we set the right expectation, there is really not too much pressure on me about my Tulips – no matter how hard I work, they will not show the flower earlier. :-D

P.S. Tulip pictures on flickr.

P.S. 2: There are some controversial comments in my previous discussion about BBC’s interview. Open and honest discussion is good, and is always welcome.

What a pity that anyone of us can only see part of the world, no matter how hard we try, and how wise we are. We are all the blind men in the “blind men and the elephant” story. Our view changes depending on our experiences. It just always changes. So keep open mind and don’t argue too agressively for something we “currently” “think” is right.

Can anyone can claim that their point of view never change in the last three years? Personally, I changed a lot. You will see the conflicting posts in my past three years of blogging. For example, I was a strong supporter of road sign numbering system in Shanghai, but changed my mind after one year. I strongly disagreed with the rule to ban beggars in Metro system, but changed my mind one year later. So if anyone didn’t change their mind in the last three years, then close your ears and only open your mouth. Otherwise, the debate is often something between you and another you after three years, or you and yourself three years ago. It is more likely everyone’s view is a honest reflection of the real world, but only part of the world. I encourage open communication but not personal attack. It is always the rule on this blog for both sides of the discussion.

Orange Harvest in my Garden

I’d like to share the Orange Harvest in my garden. I didn’t expect so many fruit for the first year of this orange tree. The orange is very sweet right now. It seems there is not much different from the orange in supermarket, expect it is a little bit smaller and are completely green.

shanghai-orange-garden.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-many.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-one.big.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai-orange-three.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

It is a great idea to seed some fruit trees and it gives very good return. It is the return of 3-month watering and fertilizing.

Mowing Lawn

I bought a new handheld lawn mower yesterday and started to mow the loan by hand. I have a 40 sq. meter garden. I constructed an area of floor title of about 20 sq. meters and installed about 20 sq. of lawn. In Shanghai, such large lawn is uncommon. I see most of my neighbor with same size of garden tend to cover all soil with cementing. Oh. No. Watering and mowing a gardern is more interesting than sitting on the large area of cementing.

shanghai.huacheng-jianshuo-cutting.grass.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

My lawn is small and I didn’t buy a eletronic or gas lawn mower. A small handheld equipment is good enough for me. I started to read articles on eHow.