Imagine planning an event for say a million people. I was curious about the flowers used for the 2008 Olympics. The Chinese have been working on them for the last 5 years. In 2003 a research group started planting each August to test the plants durability. An exhibition was held Aug 2006 in Beijing to select flower and floral designs for the 2008 Games. Over 20 kinds of heat-resistant flowers were chosen from more than 500 flowers to decorate the city, including Chrysanthemum and Salvia. Floral gifts from over 205 countries are being displayed.
There are over 40 Million Flowers scheduled to bloom during the Beijing Olympic Games. I’m sure trying to get them all to bloom at a certain time required alot of work. The Botanists used crossbreeding and introduced florescence to create the Olympic flowers that can resist heat strong sunlight and drought. The trick they said was to select plants that will bloom in August, to plant them at just the right time,(June 15th) and to introduce growth hormones that will allow full blooming during the Games. The hormones are used in daily gardening and will not harm the environment.
They have planted over 40 million potted plants with an emergency reserve of 1.2 million plants. The Shanghai’s People Square shows the Olympic Rings 2008 in 80,000 potted flowers. The flowers are improved hybrids that can withstand the excessive heat and rain. Heavy rain could still ruin the flowers. To help guarantee perfect weather the military has 5 antiaircraft guns that shoot chemicals into the clouds. The same system the Russians use to create good weather.
Over 5 Million Flowers are planted around the venue area in the Olympic Green. As for the green construction for Olympic venues, Beijing planted 370,000 arbores and 2.1 million Rosebushes around the 31 Olympic stadiums, 45 training stadiums and more than 160 Olympic roads. The grass seen on all the lawns whether on playing fields or in the local parks has been imported from Oregon. The Oregon Company sent over 20 million pounds of grass seed to China. Oregon’s grass seed is know for its high quality. It resists weeds and diseases. The grass has another important purpose, it has improved the air quality by reducing the dust pollution.
I was wondering how they are watering all these flowers, but they installed automatic sprinklers to handle that in some areas. They are also using recycled rain and flood water in the city’s irrigation system. The rain and flood water account for 60% of their watering needs. 1115 Roses in over 100 varieties were shipped from England to be displayed.
The Olympic Bouquet that will be awarded to the 6,000 medal winners will include 9 red Chinese roses in a pyramid shape surrounded by five kinds of flora including hosta leaves mondo grass and hypericum. The bouquet is tied with China silk ribbons showing the Beijing Olympic emblem. The bouquets contain flowers that represent hospitality friendship unity fairness and success. The flowers may not last much past September but the displays will stay in the city until National Day on October 1st.