If we plant a tree we do this for the future. To tell you something about new varieties and directions for the use and potentialities of municipal plantations is an idea of the future of the town and the several wishes of the inhabitants essential and necessary. Because, wherever inhabitants are, they like to be surrounded by sensational colours, scents, shapes and shadows.
The design of greening and coloring a city has to be inspired by the landscape of the surroundings. And such a design has to focus the art-element of the main theme, illustrating the interaction between people and nature. And in my opinion the word ¡®art¡¯ has to be used in the broadest sense of the word. The art should work on a high quality environment in which to live is therefore a part of the several themes a green city is being built.
I believe that there will be more urgent want of nature in towns in the 21st century. We work hard and intensive from early in the morning to late at night in often small busy and brisk offices and factories and we are travelling in overcrowded cities to rush home with the metro or the bus and than to fall asleep at home. We may become more prosperous in one way but poorer in living. Of course this picture is less bleak as I describe things now for an ambitious country as China is, but hopefully you will grasp what I will express in general.
In China you feel and see that private and public green spaces are already given a modern twist. Here it looks to me that everybody grows more and more with the nature, in a healthy way, style and manner of live. People here feel they will find such in a more natural open space. People wish to live in a green city with a pasture, wooded or water landscape and the inhabitants are accepting and admiring in the longer terms a variety of designs.
It is the responsibility of the nurseryman, projectors, municipalities and public authorities to give form and shape the city of the future and to fill in the wishes for a more natural environment.
This is not an easy task because greening a city has many functions and applications as I make a distinction between town-planning as well as in ecological, recreational and aesthetical greening with hopefully also an educational result.
There are so many green fragments such as specimen trees, trees in a row, shrubs in groups, hedges, borders, flowerbeds, baskets, windbreaks wall and pergola climbers. And all these things have to be taken in mind to find the sense, signification and acceptation and the effects in streets, open spaces, parking places, rivers, lakes and so on. The possibilities are endless.
Besides the plantation of urban-structures and the arrangement of the living and working environment are parks and larger green regions (national parks) of great importance. These are the green lungs of the city or village where people in larger groups of townspeople have the opportunity to enjoy cultural events, sport education, the experience of the nature itself, shortly said: being released of all kinds of daily worries, cares and troubles.
Large plains of flowering plants can be diversified by groups of unknown or rare varieties of trees or particular combinations. Here we have to tolerate the experiment and must we take advantage of the unprecedented prosperity of the nature in all its variations: fragrant plants, plants with unusual or exotic flowers and colors, plants attractive or bees and butterflies, shrubs and trees for forests or just the fringe of a wood, plants for open sites, prairie-conditions, evergreens, heather, rock gardens, fertile and dry or heavy clay etc.
Let¡¯s not forgot the small or large leaved plants, ferns and grasses. Trees with their natural crown or shaped in all kinds or figures depending the use and surroundings. Trees with narrow rue-forms or just umbrella crowns, tight and dark combined with open and loose or with amazing autumn colors.
In nature we can find everything and therefore also everything to create things. The following varieties are frequently used in Western parks or larger park-like ares and are also particular suitable in China for this purpose.
Moreover there are the additional units in connection with the constructed situations where we can use a kind of presentation, dressing, stage-setting, shortly a furnishing to camouflage or to accentuate what is already present in the city.
There is the interaction and integration such as the experience of the coming and going trip, passing bridges and corners. This is what I should call the mental uncoupling of privacy and busy places of public resorts or work, which result in a kind of shelter and relaxing.
With trees and other greenery can the characteristic structure, which is already present in every city, been made more clear or illustrated, let us say explained. We can for instance main highways accentuate with certain avenue trees and lay stress on important spots. Uniformity of the plants is herewith very important. A street or avenue should not be disturbed by trees with several forms, because already one tree (seeding) with a different crown or growth can disturb the firm line and work like a rotten apple in a whole basket with sound ones.
Important is a straight way to dock the historic centre to create herewith a reinforcement and inviting city entrance. The function of the greening is by doing so also a kind of orientation and identification. Any specific function asks for a specific? kind of selection (choice) and scale (drawing). In the concrete instance of highways we best use conspicuous repeating green-elements or large numbers of strong, fast-growing plants, which are easy in maintenance, recognizable in form and identical trees (shrubs) in large sizes and eventually articificially formed trees. All these trees have to be taken in mind to find the sense and the effect in streets, open spaces, rivers and lakes a.s.o and let us not forget to keep in mind the offices, houses, factories and other building profiles. Platanus acerifolia on the esplanades in Paris or the ¡®blocked¡¯ crowns of Tilia platyphyllos along some entrances are good examples.
In districts- and vicinity- level the same considerations are important but than to another scale. Besides this the modern men wish a dignified residence where he can recover from his daily (mostly) stressful work. The human measure (let us say the society) is here the indicator and green is one of the most essential things. The function of plants in a residence is to create a healthy, safe and feeling at home situation with sufficient room for social contacts, playing games and other forms of recreation for all groups and ages.
When we plan a parkside we have to consider first the structure, the spatial planning recognition of the meaning. I mean the ¡®why¡¯ thing are simply laid out the way they are: places of public resorts and nearly relatively not restricted by closed blocks and prohibition signs.
The modern residential quarter or new housing-estate knows a large variation in trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials etc. varying in use and selection of the assortment. Add to this that the criterion that the plantation is not to vulnerable, not to expensive (specializes) and easy to maintain. Older and newer Western varieties, which are used nowadays and proved their benefit are rosa.
I can tell a lot more about the plantation in the city. Generally speaking about the necessity of a good plan, design, and well considered preparations before constructing a park or the green-structure for a residential quarter.
Let us keep in mind all aspects such as wind durability of trees, or they can be planted near pavements, about shade-trees, about fan-trained trees, water plants, plants in tubs and so on.
Since the last decennia more and more the idea of free-landscape-architecture caught on. Then meaning not to fill in a space according to a preconceived plan, but to give chance to nature to form a new picture and to give nature a wide firth for its own contribution.
A lot of knowledge is build up about planting in the city and the Dutch nurserymen? and projectors are prominent and leading in the Western world.
I am glad to share my knowledge with you and mention you with pleasure a number of varieties, which are in my opinion important and are my personal favorites to recommend.