離嚴子陵釣臺約半小時車程，我們到訪有「江南第一井，南宋第一村」之稱的深澳村。「深澳」指地下引水道，村莊在建設前已規劃水利系統，現時有 17 口坎井，200 多處明清及民國時期的古建築。
Cherry Blossoms in Hangzhou/Kimberlogic
While many people flock to Japan in the spring to see the first sights of bloom from the Cherry Blossoms and other flowers, we found an alternative in Hangzhou. Known for its vibrant spring blooms, I was eager to see the nature side of China as opposed to the city. One of my favourite things to do is walk amongst the trees, taking in the smells and the white, pink and fuchsia colours and feeling the soft petals dancing in the warm breeze like snowflakes.
The downside to scheduling a trip to see nature is that it isn’t exactly predictable. Cherry Blossoms have a very short window for their peak bloom. Mid-March to mid-April is a common time frame when estimating the trees’ bloom in the Northern Hemisphere.
Trying to time our trip to Hangzhou with the peak bloom of the Cherry Blossom was tricky, but following the suggested time frame, the end of March seemed like a pretty good gamble. A gamble is what it was and it was a gamble we ended up losing.
When we arrived at the basin of Yang Shan Fan Cun（陽山畈村）, all we were met with was brown earth and brown trees. A couple trees had a few flowers, but not enough to even say that one tree was in full bloom. It was quite disappointing, but we were able to laugh knowing that Mother Nature works in her own time and not with our travel schedule. As we walked around the brown basin it was easy to imagine how beautiful it would be in full bloom. There were thousands of Cherry Blossom trees from the top of the mountains sloping down into the valley.
Although the basin was disappointing, we were not wrong with our estimate of the Spring-time bloom in Hangzhou. Throughout our travels of the city and the West Lake, we encountered gorgeous trees in full bloom. We even had the opportunity to visit Taiziwan Park (also called Prince Bay Park) which was full of tulips.
Taiziwan Park was redemption for the basin. There were many beautiful paths to walk through the gardens to admire the vibrant colours of the hundreds of thousands of tulips. There were even cherry blossom trees in full bloom inside the park.
Since there is always something to grab your attention in China, whether in the city or in the country, the most abundant flower is normally overlooked; the canola flower. When in bloom, these flowers create large golden seas across the landscape, and they have a much more predictable and longer bloom than the Cherry Blossom.
The highlight of our flower peeping was not the basin or even the tulips, it was when we stopped on the side of the road and took a walk through the canola field. Canola flowers grow like weeds, but in a large field, they are as beautiful as any other flower.