I can’t decide whether I should have known about this place sooner. Would it have brought comfort or made me long for my garden? It was definitely a wonderful place to visit last Thursday. It is the now-open-to-the-public Official Residence Gardens.
Originally, the vast acreage was the main home of the Chinese leader who fled when the communists gained power (with the help of Russia). He established a temporary, or so was his plan, government on Taiwan. And either he or his wife liked to garden.
Of course, it will have changed some in the years since they were alive. We (Natalie, Carlie, and Greg’s mom with me) spent two hours wandering around just gazing in appreciation and taking lots of pictures.
I immediately compared it to Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, which is billed as a 55 acre garden. The Official Residence is supposedly about 40 acres. It doesn’t have as much variation in height, seeing that it wasn’t built into a cement pit, but it is very well designed.
We were the only foreigners we saw there. One elderly Chinese gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He had been to a few places in the eastern USA during his years in the business world. Several children on field trips said hello to me. One asked in Chinese if we were Americans. Another was apparently from a Japanese school. He stood right in front of me in a friendly, but confident way and said hello. I responded in kind. When I saw that he stayed there continuing direct eye contact, I asked him how he was. He then decided he was in ‘over his head’ and ran away laughing and calling “Sayonara! That’s ‘good bye!’”
I think the best thing to do is just show you the pictures. I hope you enjoy them half as much as I enjoyed being there.
just a ‘small’ car port
we didn’t follow these steps …
making our way past the ‘official’ coffee shop
we went this way first
we couldn’t tell yet that this was the ‘tip of the ice-berg
known as ‘Hot Cocoa’
we did stop to smell the roses
Carlie said, “I bet Chiang kai-Shek got to walk on the grass
apparently a green sculpture of Chiang kai-Shek’s face
a class field trip photo
coming out from under and behind the sculpture
must be a project in progress -
another ‘garden room’ around every turn
entering the pond area
upon exiting the pond area
looking out from the vine covered tree
this pond is in the center-front of the structure in the next photo
and another pond
the garden nursery under lock and key
and for the wrap-up, big sticks…
it’s interesting, but I preferred the flowers
it was fun to walk through the garden with you!