Liverpool Brings British Garden to China Flower Expo


The City of Liverpool is represented at the tenth China Flower Show which is taking place this year in Liverpool's sister city of Shanghai.

The China Flower Expo is the largest and most influential national flower event in Asia, and will be taking place on Chongming Island between the 21 May – 2 July 2021.

Liverpool was asked by the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office to be part of the Expo as a symbol of the friendship between the sister cities.

The Liverpool Garden has been designed and delivered by the UK-Shanghai Business Association working with project leads from Liverpool China Partnership (LCP) and Liverpool John Moore University.

The 500-square-meter Liverpool Garden has been unveiled in the 10th China Flower Expo which is taking place on Shanghai's Chongming Island. Recently, an opening ceremony for the garden was attended by Chinese and British guests both in Shanghai and in its friendly city Liverpool via the internet.

The China Flower Expo is the largest and most influential national flower event in the country. This year's expo is being held between May 21 and July 2.

"It is a tremendous honour to be part of this prestigious event," said Graham Stuart, UK Minister for Exports, in his video greetings. He believes that Liverpool Garden will help to foster not just flowers, but increased friendship, trade, investment and prosperity both in China, and in Liverpool and the United Kingdom.

The minister also noted that "it was nearly 200 years ago the ships first started trading between the two cities, and the earliest Chinese community in Europe made their home in Liverpool."

Full of natural elegance, Liverpool Garden represents the quiet and peaceful lifestyle of the English countryside, with alpine rhododendrons, climbing roses, lilacs, weigela red prince, double-petaled cherry blossoms, yellow magnolia, and cotinia as its main plants. The city's symbol, the liver bird, is one of the iconic sculptures in the garden.

"We thank our sister city Liverpool for bringing the British 'Midsummer Night's Dream' to Chongming, which is the 'Flower Island on the Sea', so that we can feel the romance and beauty of the UK without leaving Shanghai," said Liu Guangyong, deputy director general of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.

Shanghai and Liverpool have carried out a series of friendly cooperations and exchanges in the fields of economy, trade, education, culture, sports, urban development and planning since twinning in 1999, stated Liu.

"The UK has a long history of scientific botany, of plant-breeding, of garden design. This even runs in my own family - My brother is a professional gardener who grows organic fruit and vegetables," the British Consul General in Shanghai, Chris Wood, said with pride.

He added that being responsible for the environment is the key point as China and the UK prepare to host two major United Nations conferences this year - on biodiversity and on climate change - and the two are closely linked. "I hope that the flower expo will remind everyone of the vital importance of preserving our planet's biodiversity," he said.

It is a wonderful creation for the national-level flower expo to have introduced 12 sister city gardens, which provides a good platform to promote international friendship and exchanges in Chongming, a world-class ecological island featuring a starry sky, crystal-clear water, fragrant flowers and birdsong, according to Zhang Zhitong, deputy district mayor of Chongming.

Last year, the globally spreading Covid-19 pandemic severely restricted international cooperation projects of the flower expo. In this situation, the UK Shanghai Business Association and the Shanghai Federation of Overseas acted as go-betweens to push forward the program of the Liverpool Garden, supported by various government departments and organizations, said Qi Quansheng, chairman of the federation.

Liverpool Garden is commissioned by the Liverpool China Partnership (LCP) and Liverpool John Moores University. LCP president Gary Millar joined in the opening ceremony via internet, and Professor Ian Campbell, vice chancellor of the university, sent a video message.