TAIPEI (Undiscovered Taipei) — The silent branches slowly decorate the land with patches of green at their own pace, the quiet transformation of nature providing a glimmer of spring.
Nourishing plants and flowers are not only a way to show your appreciation for someone, but also a therapeutic process, and there are many places for flower and plant lovers to go to in Taipei to indulge their passion.
Jianguo Holiday Flower Market in Taipei City is a place where visitors can learn about plants and flowers of all kinds. There is also the Taipei Flowers Auction (台北花卉批發市場), where people come to buy flowers in bulk. As for those looking to purchase some bonsai and potted plants, the Taipei Pot Plant Auction (台北花木批發市場) is a must-see.
Flowers are Vying to Catch People’s Attention
“People often use the phrase ‘spring bloom’ to describe this time of the year, and it’s no exaggeration,” says Chen Genwang (陳根旺), deputy manager of the Taipei Flowers Auction Company. “Flowers of all kinds are blooming en masse during this season, and exhibit their most beautiful side to the public.
Amongst myriads of flowers and plants nourished by people, springtime flowers and plants that convey a sense of happiness and sweetness are most welcome when given as gifts. Roses and balloon flowers convey a message of love. Lilies imply that everything will turn out well, and the calla lily represents youth and enthusiasm.
For potted plants, there is the moth Orchid, shaped like a butterfly spreading its wings, symbolizing happiness. Then there is the joyful ZZ plant and cyclamen. Bulbous plants have been gaining popularity over the past few years, with current trends leaning toward the flamboyant amaryllis and the delicate hyacinth.
“Flowers and potted plants are not necessities like vegetables and fruits, but they are essential when it comes to beautifying people’s lives,” says Chen. “Their beauty and fragrance add something green for us to behold and make our lives vibrant.” People can use flowers with different meanings to convey their affections or simply place them in their homes or offices to make the surroundings a feast for the eyes. Or they can temporarily withdraw themselves from busy city life by spending quality time exercising their green thumb.
Adorn your Home and Bring Nature into Your Life
“Flowers and potted plants can bring people closer to nature and alleviate their stress,” says Xie Chuizhan (謝垂展), a floral design instructor who has been invited to floral design exhibitions overseas many times and won the top prize at the 2017 Taiwan Cup Flower Design Competition. “Flowers and potted plants serve as media that transfer the outdoor liveliness in springtime to people’s homes, so the people living inside can embrace nature and refresh their living environment.”
Xie suggests that if you want to make your residence cozier and more soothing, you can put a little glass bottle with some flowers in it at the entrance to greet guests. Colorful flowers are suitable for living rooms, the dining table, or the coffee table. Though different colors and species cultivate different moods, it is not recommended that you use lily, lavender, or the sweet olive, all of which have a strong fragrance.
The reason, according to Xie, is that “Heavily fragrant flowers can make you feel dizzy in a confined environment.” Xie further expresses that if you do want some fragrance in your home, you can place flowers on the balcony or window sill, where ventilation is better. You can also hang green plants in the restroom to make the space lively.
However, there are few things to take note of when choosing spots for potted plants. For example, places near appliances such as a refrigerator are not ideal for plants or flowers. One reason is that the temperature in these areas tends to be too high for plants and flowers to grow. Another is the increased risk of electric shock and fire caused by sockets and wires when you water the plants.
You can also build a variety of environs and atmospheres and make house decor more fun by employing vases and combining plants of different characteristics and flowers of various colors.
For instance, use hanging pots to grow climbing plants such as ivy to lend a romantic touch to the wall with the plant’s drooping stems. A home’s entire outlook can be changed by something as simple as growing succulent plants such as cacti in small and delicate pots. The combination of green eucalyptus leaves with a brightly-colored Orchid, pot mum, and baby’s breath can revitalize the environment.
Nourish With Care to Extend The Beauty
As for how to extend the time in which you can enjoy viewing beautiful blossoms and verdant leaves, choose flowers and plants with a longer blooming period and buy flowers that are fresh and durable by examining the buds, the thickness of the stems, and the color of leaves (the greener the better). Our experts have a few tips on how to take care of these delicate guests at home to share with you.
“One of the reasons why people steer clear of buying flower bouquets is the odor of stagnant water, which can be easily solved by adding a few drops of bleach,” says Chen. Chen also mentions adding a sugar cube (or fructose) in the water to provide extra nutrients to the flowers. A couple of drops of white vinegar will go a long way if you want to inhibit bacteria growth while supplementing the flower’s growth and vitality.
In regard to gardening, make sure there is sufficient light and water. You can also trim the plants when necessary to keep them healthy. “By means of pinching, leaf picking, and trimming, we remove the excess stems and leaves to prevent nutrients from being wasted so the plant will grow better,” says Jiang Mingwen (江銘文), a plant doctor at a botanical clinic at the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market.
According to Doctor Jiang, the average time of changing the soil and pot for a plant is once every three to five years. Doing this will prolong the plant’s life to decades rather than years, and right now (the springtime) is the best time to do this!
You Shichang (游世昌), chairman of the Council of Jianguo Holiday Flower Market, admits that though Taiwanese people are commonly fond of flowers and plants, many of them lack the knowledge to take care of them properly.
In fact, many flower markets are holding courses related to plants from time to time and providing comprehensive gardening services, like Jianguo Holiday Flower Market’s botanical clinic, which is open to members of the public.
“The number of people bringing pictures of their plants plagued by diseases and insects for professional assistance is increasing,” says You. With access to the botanical knowledge on the rise, more and more people are rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands dirty, and taking better care of their flowers and plants.
The footsteps of winter are fading as the warm spring sun emerges, and the changing of the seasons is marked by the fragrance of flowers wafting through the air. Visit your nearest Taipei City flower market to buy a flower bouquet and a potted plant or two to give your home a complete makeover!
This article is reproduced under the permission of Undiscovered TAIPEI. Original content can be found at Taipei Travel Net: www.travel.taipei/en