There is no need to travel far away to admire the pastoral scenery and forest scenery. You can taste the fruits, vegetables and herbs you cultivate in the city center, where the land is only a few inches of earth. Downstairs is a small pleasant forest that produces oxygen and can be used for strolling and playing. Such a poetic and picturesque urban countryside was once an unattainable dream for many people. In just three years, Dr. Liu Yuelai from Tongji and his “four-leaf clover” team built more than 20 similar urban gardens. It is quietly changing the lives of urban residents, and the world has become more vivid, harmonious and interesting——
Seeds of flowers and plants, nature education school
”It turns out that this is the moss in the’Ying Lian’s Teeth Print Cang Moss’, it’s really like a green carpet.”
”It turns out that tomatoes and cucumbers don’t grow on trees, but grow on the ground!”
”So mint grass. It’s still blooming.”
“The spiral garden was originally designed in a spiral shape for the different needs of different plants for sunlight and moisture…”
In a small garden in a living area in Shanghai, a 45-year-old teacher from Tongji Dr. Liu Yuelai was giving a gift to a group of children Take plant lessons with their parents. The tall camphor tree is like a big umbrella, which shades the reflected sunlight and looks very quiet and cool; the green moss resembles a thick green carpet, and there are ivy, orchids and other ornamental plants nearby, adding to the summer It feels cool and comfortable inside. This community landscape, called “moss garden” by community residents, is an urban garden created by Liu Yuelai with the residents of the community last year. Today, it has become a university of nature education that children love. Everyone who has been to the “Moss Garden” Nature Education University Hall will be moved by the harmonious scenery where people come into close contact with plants and insects, but some people may not know that this was once a garbage dump where residents took a detour…
Liu Yuelai He is a teacher of landscape design at Tongji University in Shanghai. He grew up living in a village near the sea in Qingdao, Shandong. The beauty of nature and the self-sufficient farm life are a lingering thought in his heart. In the more than 20 years since he moved to live in Shanghai, this thought has not only not faded away, but it has become more and more intense.
There is a wasteland in the community where Liu Yuelai is located. Several tall camphor trees blocked the light like a big umbrella. The bare land is full of fallen leaves and discarded domestic garbage. Because there is no management, the vehicles outside are often parked in this “free parking lot”. There are often residents walking their dogs and uncleaned pet feces are in the air. It exudes a weird breath.
In the fall of 2016, Liu Yue persuaded the property and contracted the garbage dump. He paid out of his own pocket and bought the seeds of February orchid, ivy, cucumber, loofah, saxifrage, fern and moss, sowed them into the ground and planted them. A few big Wu wind grass. Soon, the little moss and the Eryuelan poked their heads out of the ground. In order to avoid pedestrians from accidentally trampling on the green plant seedlings, Liu Yuelai wrote on the orange-red cardboard shell, “You should pity your teeth against the green moss,” The sign of “Love her together” was posted on the camphor tree, and a sign of “Joining to Build a Community Garden” was erected on the side of the tree, leaving contact information and welcoming others to join his community dream team.
The green seedlings attracted many curious residents to stop and watch. More and more people joined the team of “Amateur Green Chemicals”. Even elementary school students and children in kindergarten volunteered to become supernumerary volunteers. In just a few months, the original smelly garbage dump turned into a lively little garden. Seeing these new changes that are closely related to their lives, the residents of the community are proud of being able to make some contributions to this miniature garden.
In a blink of an eye, winter goes to spring, and the vegetation sprouts. In order to make the spring scenery more beautiful in the small garden, some people moved the rose flowers and reticulum weeds at home, and some people also moved the French roses and devil’s flowers to add luster to the small garden. There are more and more varieties of plants in the garden. The children became “Ye Wen” and “Hua Wen”—”What kind of leaf is this?” “What kind of flower is this?” As a doctor of gardening, Liu Yuelai is also happy to guide the children one by one. It is a school for learning natural plant knowledge.
The “seeds” of co-construction connect feelings
The closed security door, hurried footsteps, nodded at each other, and there was no in-depth communication. This situation is a very common phenomenon in neighborhood relationships among urban residents. However, since Liu Yuelai established the one-meter garden in the community, there has been more interaction between the neighborhoods.
”Lao Li, it’s time to water your cabbage.” “My tomatoes are ripe. Would you like to pick some for yours to try?” “Our fruit corn is delicious, give you some… “In another community where Liu Yuelai participated in the creation of urban homes, since the establishment of a community garden, people have grown flowers and vegetables here to beautify the community. As people care about and help each other, their hearts are getting closer.
In the spring of 2016, Liu Yuelai placed a number of beautiful potted plants in this community garden. Some people worried that they would be stolen in a short time… As a result, it became a truth. On the fourth night, two wooden frames The flowers and plants and even the flower belt pots were stolen, and most of the nutritious soil in the big wooden box was dug away.
You know, these flowerpots were all donated spontaneously by the residents, but now they are frustrated by the “thief”. For Liu Yue, the staff of the neighborhood committee, or we would lock up the wooden boxes for potted plants and put them in the neighborhood committee office every night.
But such an effect is obviously not what Liu Yuelai wants. He said that the premise of sharing is co-construction. He hopes that through co-construction, everyone’s passion for co-governance can be awakened. Only a garden of co-governance can inspire the public’s enthusiasm for common care. .
On April 9, 2017, Liu Yuelai gave a public welfare natural planting class to community residents, teaching them how to make nutritious soil and how to grow beautiful flowers and plants by themselves. That afternoon, elderly people, housewives, male staff who were off Sundays, and many children came to class. According to Liu Yuelai’s guidance, the housewife Liu Li spread a layer of soil in the flowerpot, and then spread the leftover leaves from the vegetable she chose. Then, she spread a layer of sawdust, and then spread the coffee grounds that had not been poured the previous day. , And finally covered with a layer of soil…
Liu Li exclaimed: It turns out that the way to restore soil vitality is so simple! If I had learned this trick early, I would have saved a lot of money in online shopping for nutritious soil and planting flowers! Several elementary school students found some pine needles from the open space in the community, instead of coffee grounds, they also made nutritious soil suitable for the growth of flowers and trees. After the children transplanted ornamental plants such as cosmos, carnation, longevity, sunflower and so on with the nutritious soil they made by themselves, they were all excited like little swallows…
Someone suggested: Should we take turns to protect the flowers and plants at night Safety? Liu Yuelai smiled and said: “No, when everyone has learned how to make nutritious soil and plant beautiful flowers and plants by themselves, who would not hesitate to steal public scenery at the expense of their own virtues?” Sure enough, the flowers and plants are safe for several days. Grow in the community.
That night, Xiao Yu’s mother ran into Liu Yuelai when she was walking, and told him an interesting story that happened at her own table: During the meal, she taught Xiao Yu: “The flowers are blooming beautifully, but the beautiful scenery belongs to everyone. Don’t pick the flowers!” In the end, Xiao Yu taught her in turn: “Our children set up a red scarf flower protection team. The flowers and plants are all planted by us, and none of you can move!” She said emotionally: Unexpectedly, In the process of building a small garden together, the community, like this garden, has become more and more harmonious.
The seeds of “healing”, grow up healthy together
As a college teacher who works closely with gardening and horticulture, Liu Yuelai had a higher position than ordinary gardeners when he created the garden, and he considered it far. What he values is not only the beauty and economic benefits brought by the green space landscape, but also the harmonious relationship between man and nature and between people established in the process of co-constructing green space. In the urban farms built by Liu Yuelai, there are not only beautiful stories of vegetables, flowers and plants that have changed the world, but also vivid rumors of people growing up with plants.
12-year-old Youyou used to be a headache for parents and teachers. I don’t know when, Youyou became addicted to the Internet, and often ran to Internet cafes with his parents behind his back, and his studies plummeted. After the parents found out, they began to restrict his pocket money. He ran out of money and stole the money from his mother’s wallet. Once, when he was caught by his father, his furious father couldn’t control his anger and slapped him severely… Since childhood, he hadn’t been beaten, so Yuyou was angry and ran away from home. After half a month, I was found by my mother.
When Youyou’s teacher came to visit, he mentioned that Liu Yuelai was recruiting people to adopt in Chuangzhi Homeland. It was not far from Youyou’s home. It was suggested that Youyou’s parents should also claim one. The couple took the time to accompany Youyou to grow flowers and vegetables to heal the soul.
In July 2018, it was a good summer vacation. Dad Yongjun contracted the right to adopt the one-meter spiral vegetable garden in Chuangzhi Home. In the spiral vegetable garden, there were pumpkins and loofah planted by Liu Yuelai’s team before, and Yongjun took Youyou and planted amaranth, tomatoes, peppers and mint grass.
The first time you planted vegetables, Youyou was too dirty and refused to touch the soil directly with his hands. Yong Jun didn’t complain about him, and kindly told him about growing sweet potatoes and wheat with his parents when he was a child, and about digging up fresh ones from the ground. Sweet potatoes, bake them in the fire and eat them happily. Watching my father skillfully use a shovel to loosen the soil, plant a few vegetable seeds, and then look at a beautiful little girl not far away, who is also bending over, working with her mother in the field, and beside them, one The sunflower was smiling like a little sun. Youyou was infected by the hot and beautiful labor scene. He found a large empty oil bucket, went to a nearby pipe to catch water and water the ground, and took the initiative to water the seeds buried in the soil…
Back at home, Youyou no longer hid in her cabin playing video games or paddling her mobile phone as usual. Instead, she turned on her computer and carefully searched for information on growing flowers and vegetables. He also asked her father about the relationship between growing vegetables and the season. He even mobilized his father to join the WeChat group established by Liu Yuelai.
Every time you go to the vegetable garden to visit his “new friends”, Youyou is like discovering a new world, excitedly filming the changes in the vegetable garden with her mobile phone: immature fruits, birds stealing fruits and vegetables, and little yellow flowers on top of cucumbers. Ladybug… When he came back, he was busy sorting out his photos and asked his father how to make a dynamic photo album. Before he knew it, he left out the video games he was obsessed with.
Seeing Youyou’s changes, Yongjun was full of joy. He told Liu Yuelai in the WeChat group: This activity is very meaningful. He grows vegetables and fruits by himself, so that children can experience the hardships of labor, the soil in nature, and the rural countryside in the city. , And sunshine and sweat are not only the conditions for the growth of vegetables and fruits, but also the necessary conditions for the healthy growth of children’s body and mind.
In fact, these are precisely the wishes of Liu Yuelai and his “Four-Leaf Cottage”: more contact with nature itself has the effect of curing mental illness. Let green integrate more into children’s lives, enrich their world, feel the power from the land, absorb positive energy in the process of changing the ecological environment and strengthening the connection between nature and people, and grow healthy with plants!