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Epcots World Showcase Gardens – part 2
This is the second section of my tour on the gardens in Epcot. China
Gardens in China are totally different to a typical garden in the West. Plants have to appear to have been naturally placed without a central plan. Water is an essential part of any Chinese garden, not fountains but still water, with water lilies or lotuses growing in them. Look at the lilies in the China Pavilion, they may look as if they are growing in the water but in actual fact they are all in containers, which have been placed under the water. Because the Chinese respect age and like their gardens to look old, the gardeners at Epcot have used trees that have corkscrew trunks or weeping branches. This helps the gardens to look more mature. One of the most striking trees is in the China Pavilion, it is called a weeping mulberry and can be found near the entrance to the Nine Dragons Restaurant. Surprisingly, the grass is not mowed in this area, but is left to look natural which produces a tufted appearance. Germany
Upon reaching the Germany Pavilion you will notice all the brightly coloured hanging baskets, window boxes and containers. In Germany many of their window boxes are filled with Ivy-geraniums. Unfortunately, this plant would not survive all year round in the Florida climate but the clever gardeners have used English ivy and the more traditional geraniums to create the exact same effect. Notice the flowerbeds close to the lake; they are filled with different species of Old World roses. These have a wonderful scent and flower continuously, unlike the roses nowadays which tend to concentrate on how the flower looks rather than how strong is the scent. Italy
The Italy Pavilion is quite different to the other pavilions in the way the planting has been arranged. Most of the other countries are in a horseshoe shape whilst Italy is open at the back. What the gardeners have done here is to create an area to look larger that it actually is by cleverly planned landscaping and the planting of cypress trees in the background. Look for the grapevines hanging from the trellis, also the olive trees which unfortunately do not produce any olives due to the high humidity in Florida during the summer months. If you walk over to the gondolas on the lake you will notice the kumquat and citrus trees which have been planted to represent the Mediterranean. The American Adventure
Red, white and blue is the theme within the American Adventure and it is the most formal of all the pavilions in Epcot’s World Showcase. Boxed hedges and meticulous planting of annuals with rows of magnolias, standing to attention like soldiers, create the formal feel. Take a look at the sycamore trees, with their branches intertwined to create a living ceiling over the area, this process is called pleaching. The two oak trees, which have been planted at the front of the main building, were taken from Hotel Plaza Boulevard, which is near Downtown Disney. Originally planted towards the end of the 1960’s they were uprooted and replanted when Epcot first opened in 1982.
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