China's Flora Tour: Bring nature into your home
CGTN
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When your desire to live every minute in nature is impossible, why not try to bring it into your home, with bonsai. 
China enjoys a long history of bonsai. Carved patterns on unearthed pottery fragments even indicate the earliest bonsai appeared 7,000 years ago. Hui-style bonsai plants, originated in Anhui Province in eastern China, are one of the five famous bonsai groups in the country. 
Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

The bonsai plants are grown in fields or open spaces, trimmed and cultivated into the required shapes before being moved into pots. Many plants can be used to make bonsai. Plum trees, cypress, Huangshan pines, and yellow woods are the most common kind. In addition to the marriage of stones and moss, you can create a separate ecosystem in the jungle of modern buildings.
Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

Now that daily access to at least a small piece of nature is possible, well-versed craftsmen push it a step further by styling the plants into shapes that bear auspicious significance. 
Take dragon shapes for instance, with the typical S-shape of the trunk characterizing a wandering dragon, which represents good luck and power in China. To make it more lifelike, small branches are trimmed to grow along with the truck, mimicking stretched dragon claws. 
Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

Hui-style bonsai. /VCG Photo

Just imagine how delightful and soothing it would be having these lucky vibes fill your home every day. 
Inspired by nature, integrated with human culture, bonsai serve as one of the most successful cases of humans rewarding ourselves by learning from nature.

China's flora tour

From the wetlands along the east coast to the dense rain-forests hidden in the southwest, China boasts an array of plant species. In this series, we will go on a tour to learn about some of the most representative flora in different provinces and see how they live in harmony with the local geography and climate.
(Cover image via VCG.)
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)