Our short damp November days offer the perfect opportunity for leafing through reels of photographs from earlier in the year; many of mine are from a short trip I took to China, for this year’s International Botanical Congress, July 23rd – 29th. IBC17 was held in the far south of China, just a stone’s throw from Hong Kong, at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center and the Sheraton Shenzhen Futian Hotel.
The whole city seemed to be decorated to welcome attendees – pillars in the metro were papered with vast posters about the conference, and even the departure gate at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport was showing advertisments!
One of the themes of the meeting was plants and people, and nowhere was this more visible than in the living walls that surrounded us. In the Exhibition Hall and around the screens in the lecture hall, masses of mosses and other epiphytes were planted, forming spectacular backdrops to the events.
Slightly further afield, at the China National GeneBank just outside Schenzhen, imaginative plantings were also much in evidence, including a butterfly-rich external wall along the side of the driveway, and a vigorous living wall around the elevators.