We set out in June of 2009 to visit China at the peak viewing
time for lotus. Our aim was to see some of the huge number of
lotus cultivars grown there. We had previously been to China
to see lotus growing wild in natural systems.* This was incredibly
scenic and enjoyable but, as nursery owners, we now wanted to
see how growers in China grow and display their lotus.
China has a long history of growing lotus covering some thousands
of years. Over time plants have been developed that are far from
their wild relatives in form, size and colour. These were what
we wanted to see. Our guide for the trip was Grant Mitchell.
He has traveled to China many times over 25 years and had many
contacts there for us to meet.
Our first destination was Lotus Hill Resort in Panu. This
is a massive reserve includes huge areas of ancient quarry turned
into a water gardeners' paradise. We spent hours rambling around
the grounds and attended a lotus-themed show. We were made most
welcome by our hosts and began to realize how much there was