Exploring the Home of Flowers. Green plants have long been known have a positive effect on human health. We live in a fast paced world with hectic lifestyles, so it is important to slow down, close our eyes, relax, and get close to nature. Traveling green may just be the solution as contact with the natural environment benefits our mental and physical health and nature offers such a rich diversity of leisure activities to meet different needs. Think of it as a therapeutic vacation for your mind, body, and soul. This edition of It’s O’right Quarterly shares the story of the owners of Green Life, Marco and Susan, and their green lifestyle in Tianwei, Changhua.
Cycling on a Green Rendezvous in Highway Garden
As the no.1 flower producing area in Taiwan, Tianwei truly lives up to its name: the Kingdom of Flowers or the Home of Flowers. Back in 1973, roadside plants and flowers along the provincial highway were planted to promote green tourism and later became to be known as the Highway Garden. Feeling the light breeze blows around us as we cycled along the provincial highway, our journey began at Yixin Park, which features green highlights such as a pavilion with solar panels installed on the rooftop and solar road and street lamps. It’s amazing to see how the concept of energy saving and carbon reduction has long been rooted in the community of Tianwei.
Photo /// In 2016, Tianwei welcomed another attraction site, the succulent statue, to keep up with the current trend and add a little spark to Tianwei.
An Irresistible Low Carbon Shopping Experience
Green business is without a doubt good business. Every green business ideas you can think of you will find in Tianwei. For example, Lung Sheng Horiculture Inc. is filled with all sorts of flowerpots, garden accessories, landscaping equipment, farm equipment and materials, and ceramics, where gardening enthusiasts can pick and buy all the tools they need at once and reduce the time and cost spent shopping at different stores. A fossil wood museum gives you a closer insight to wood such as tree trunks and branches that is preserved in the fossil record and reveals earth’s past, history, and climate changes thousands of years ago. The chance that wood will become fossilized is one in a million. Such an enriching green shopping experience that is perfect for families to explore.
Green Ocean Café: An Amazing Eco-Space
Landscaping and gardening are expressions of art and nature and reflect people’s pursuit of taste and style in life. When you visit Tianwei, don’t miss out on Green Ocean Café, a Greek-inspired architecture with a garden grown by the owner himself, who put his love and passion for the art of landscaping into the café.
The white, Mediterranean-style building serves as the perfect backdrop for green plants.As you take a sip of your cup of coffee, you can enjoy being surrounded by exotic plants and flowers and the beautiful environment built from wastes. Each and every city should have a café that is unique in its own way. Green Ocean Café creates an environment and atmosphere that truly reflects Tianwei’s green style.
Tenway Garden: Taiwan from a Different Angle
The Bald Cypress Boulevard changes color with seasons, instantly relaxing the body and soul. In winter, bald cypresses turn yellow, which gives people the impression that you’re walking along the streets of Europe or stepped into a beautiful painting. With sustainability in mind, an aquaponics system is built in Tenway Garden to store wastewater in the storage tank by the vegetable garden, using an aerator to help algae provide oxygen for fish and purify wastewater, which can be used to raise fish or water the vegetable garden. Aquaponics is a great way to achieve sustainability.
Even Tenway Garden’s parking lot minimizes carbon emissions. The roof is made from discarded silver metal mesh and orchid plant hangers. Parking spaces are decorated with green plants to absorb carbon dioxide emitted from vehicles by photosynthesis and purify the air; plants also absorb the heat to reduce car temperature, decrease the use of air conditioning, and greatly lower carbon emissions and energy consumption. See how such a small space like a parking lot can contribute so much to carbon reduction. What’s more, in order to allow tourists and visitors to fully experience a green lifestyle, Tenway Garden limits the number of visitors during the weekend so customers can slowly enjoy their meal and appreciate the magnificent natural environment around them. Despite the fact that it affects their business income, their priority is to promote green sustainability.
Photo /// Tenway Garden is best known for bald cypress, the Fondation Claude Monet style landscalp, and uncommon precious plants that give people completely different impressions each season.
Green Life: Made with Love
In most relationships, a boyfriend gives his girlfriend flowers as a romantic gesture. So you would never imagine what Marco gave his then-girlfriend now-wife Susan as a gift? Nippon lily! “Every girl wants to get flowers! I couldn’t believe it when Marco took me to a rose garden and told me to pick as many as I want myself!” Susan laughed as she recalled the memory of Marco’s “romantic” gesture. This young couple both come from a farming family in Tianwei. Like local Tianwei women, Susan is capable and experienced and has gained a good reputation in the succulent plant industry in Central Taiwan. Marco carries on with his father’s landscaping and gardening business; he will always remember his father reminiscing about the prosperity of this land and how such a small little town could have such an advanced irrigation ditch, plus rich fertile alluvial soil and moderate climate. Flowers breathe prosperity into this town and became a major source of income for many families. At the peak of their economy, 70% of the flowers in Taiwan came from Tianwei, giving the town the name of the Home of Flowers.
With the growing trend of offshoring and outsourcing, the floral industry in Tianwei gradually declined and the town faced transition related problems. Tianwei Highway Garden Development Association, established by a group of young local enthusiasts including Marco and Susan, sponsored and hosted events to attract visitors and promote stores’ products and gardening services in hopes that the Home of Flowers will continue to warm the hearts of people in the modern world and build a better future for green tourism in Taiwan.
Photo /// Hostess of Green Life mainly composts wastes for use in the garden to deliver Green Life’s concept of giving back to nature and the limitless possibilities of the use of all sorts of materials.