Luoyang Peony Park, Henan China
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Luoyang Peony Park
There are more than 200 kinds of peonies and over 7,000 trees in the park. It is a world full of colorful blooming flowers.
When Emperor Yangguang in Sui Dynasty (581-618A.D.) built the capital in Luoyang, he also built an imperial garden - Xiyuan ("West Garden") outside the city. The garden planted with many exotic flowers and rare herbs, this is one of the reasons that peonies were planting in this garden.
In Tang Dynasty (618 ~ 907A.D.), a legend arose that because the peonies could not blossom, they were banished by Empress Wuzetian sent from Xi'an to Luoyang. Hence a poem went:
"The ancient flower grows in the ancient imperial city.
In the Luoyang Peony Park, the blue waves are rippling in the artificial lake; the flowers and trees are luxuriant and well spaced on the Peony Mountain. With many towers, terraces and water pavilions, the scenery is very pleasant.
On the sunny spring days, the garden is crowded with people, some watching flowers and others going boating. You can experience the scene described in the lines in person,
"When the peonies were in season,
The purple and the yellow peony are the most precious species in the peony family in the garden. Besides, there are many other rare species, such as ErQiao (Two Beauties), Pink Zhao, Drunken Concubine Yang, and Black Dragon lying in the Inkwell.
Peonies bloom luxuriantly from April 15 to April 25 in each
year. Usually the local government will hold a grand flower fair around
the same time. Many tourists from home and abroad gather in Luoyang
and admire the beauty of flowers.
According to the legend, in the year of Emperor Tianshou in Tang Dynasty (691A.D.), Empress Wuzetian suddenly hit upon an idea and wanted to enjoy the blooming flowers next day. She wrote a poem,
"Tomorrow I will visit the Upper Garden,
She asked the God of Flowers to carry out her order immediately. Next day, she really saw the spectacular scene that more than 100 kinds of flowers are blooming. However, the peony tree ignored the order. The Empress was so angry that she ordered her attendants to send the peony tree to Luoyang and burn its root to punish it.
Legend said that the species Burnt Bone Peony was the descendant of the burned peony. According to some historic records, the virtue that peony defied the force can be compared with prunes' and chrysanthemum's, which can tolerate the cold frost.
With the help of the increasingly developed technology, many unimaginable things before have come into reality. For example, a new species of peony called Luoyang Red was cultivated and it can bloom even in the cold winter.
The government established a National Gene Storehouse of Peony in Luoyang. It houses more than 450 species of peonies, with 150,000 trees. The peonies here have more than 8 colors, such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, white, purple, black and so on.