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New peachy-keen garden opens
By Tan Weiyun

WHILE people are flocking to well-known peach orchards in Fengxian District and the Pudong New Area to enjoy the spring blossoms, a new peach tree orchard opens today at the foot of Sheshan Hill in Songjiang District.

A big celebration is planned this weekend.

Unlike other peach orchards and growing centers that are crowded with tourists, Xingsheng Peace Garden is peaceful and fully equipped with facilities.

The 10-hectare orchard turns into a pink sea of peach blossoms, while free-range chickens and ducks waddle in the fields and among the groves.

Golden rapeseed flowers are about to blossom in nearby villages, turning the whole area into a brilliant yellow sea.

In Chinese mythology, the peach is a symbol of longevity and immortality and peach blossoms often symbolize love and good luck. Walking under peach blossoms is said to increase one's chances of falling in love.

Tents, sofas and carpets will be prepared for visitors who can play cards, chat with friends or just lie down to enjoy the spring sunshine and countryside fresh air.

The 50-yuan (US$8) buffet includes a wide range of homemade specialties, such as spring cakes, vegetable and diced pork fried rice, salted meat and authentic Songjiang pickles.

Visitors can accompany experts from the Songjiang Agricultural Committee to see the blossoms, learn about peach growing and hear folk stores about peaches.

Professional photographers will display photos of peaches. Children can work with artists and draw or paint pictures; they can also make pottery.

Local seniors will perform a concert of old songs in English.

A starred hotel will shift its chocolate-making kitchen to the peach garden, where a chef will teach visitors how to make chocolate cakes.

The fun includes games and a lucky draw.

Date: March 29-31, 10am-4:30pm

Address: 82 Jiujiang Rd, Jiangqiu Village, Sheshan Hill Town

Admission: 150 yuan (free for children under 4)

Buffet cost: 50 yuan

How to get there:

By car: G50 or Shanghai-Hangzhou Highway - intersection of Qianxin and Jiujiang roads.

By Metro: Take Metro Line 9, get off at Sheshan Station. Follow the event's staff to the free shuttle bus to the peach garden.

Tel: 6473-6371 (tickets can also be purchased at the garden.)

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164