Friday, August 5, 2011

Stop and Smell the Flowers

In Los Angeles, I didn't see all that many tropical plants growing wild. Lots of evergreens and palm trees and desert flowers that are drought resistant, but not the riot of blossoms everywhere you look here in Macau. I'm used to roses and hydrangeas, which wilt and look ill when exposed to tons of heat, sunlight, and humidity. Certainly not these flowers that thrive on all three!

The boys are absolutely sick of me stopping every block to bend over and smell this blossom or take a photo of that bloom. I'm named after three flowers (Heather, Queen Anne's Lace, Roses), so I can't help it.

These trees are everywhere. I took this photo the day we arrived, and three and half weeks later, trees around the city are still in bloom.
Lagerstroemia floribunda

In the center of Taipa is a large walled garden with a playground and ponds filled with turtles and lotus. It's surrounded by high rise buildings and reminds me of our own little Asian Central Park, on a much smaller scale. Even on the hottest day, it's one of my favorite places to sit and read on a shady bench while the boys play. Of course, reading is hard when you see this out of the corner of your eye:

The lotus is by far my favorite flower, another reason I'm drawn to this park right now while it's still blooming. I've been stuck at the house a lot, waiting for various repairmen to show up. But when we can spare an hour or two between appointments, the boys and I pack a picnic lunch and eat among the lotus. 
Nelumbo nucifera

When I saw this purple flower on a shrub at the Guia Fortress, I immediately thought of my sister-in-law Heidi. She loves purple flowers. When I was looking it up, I saw that all species of this plant are considered noxious weeds in Hawaii because of their high potential for being an invasive species! Who me? Says this innocent beautiful plant!
Tibouchina semidecandra

For once, here's a flower the boys can appreciate. Well, not the flowers so much as the pointy seed pods. We used to live on a street lined with trees that would drop similar seed pods. When we moved in, we'd take an evening stroll after dinner each night to chat with the neighbors. The boys, probably 3 and 5 at the time, would collect rocks and pine cones, and picked up several of those pointy pods. A friendly old gentleman out watering his lawn asked the boys if they knew what they were, and proceeded to spin a tale about porcupine eggs. They fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. For the four years we lived on that street, they referred to them as porcupine eggs. When they saw this shrub growing up the side of a wall, they were excited to see that Macau is also home to porcupines. Or at least their eggs!
Allamanda cathartica


  1. I love it!! I also love that it is called Princess Flower, what a great name! I'll have to see if that would survive in VA. I also love the lotus flowers. I couldn't read looking at that either.

  2. Hi there... i have been to this place 8 years ago by chance. can you please guide me how to get to this place or what is the name of the place so that i can google. as ill be visiting macau for two days this week and i like to drop by.

    thank you.

    my email is

  3. The name of the park is Cidade Das Flores Garden. It's in the middle of Taipa, directly across the street from the Park N Shop grocery store. The main street on the back side of the park is Avenida Olimpica. Hope that helps! Enjoy!


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