Richmond families and shopkeepers from Chinese cultural backgrounds always buy their favourite lucky plants for their homes and offices during the Lunar New Year celebration.
Feng Shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, is the practice of creating a sense of harmony and balance with the natural world in our interior spaces. The Richmond News spoke with Richmondite Ming Wu, who specializes in the gardening business, to offer insight into plants that can help you find ecological balance while also bringing you a dose of good fortune.
Plants that can bring home good luck:
1: Calamondin Orange trees
As the owner of Garden in Gardens, a Richmond nursery, Wu said he used to send a three-foot-tall orange tree to Richmond City Hall upon the arrival of the Lunar New Year.
Although the long-standing tradition couldn’t be continued this year due to the pandemic as the city hall remains largely closed to the public, many shoppers are still buying orange trees to mark the new year.
Mandarin oranges play an important role in Chinese culture. Older generations always have a lot of oranges for children and families when they visit over the holiday, said Wu.
“In Cantonese, the pronunciation of ‘mandarin oranges’ sounds similar to ‘auspiciousness,’” Wu said. The calamondin orange tree symbolizes a fruitful and abundant year. According to Wu, these small trees grow well indoors with moist soil and four to six hours of direct daily sunlight.
2: Peach blossom
It might sound absurd that a peach blossom could be used to attract love, said Wu, but in Chinese culture, many single people hoping to find a loved one will display peach blossoms in their bedrooms. Sometimes peach blossoms are used to attract like-minded friends as well.
However, the peach blossom is also the favourite of many business owners as they are known for attracting clients.
One thing to keep in mind before purchasing peach blossoms is they can grow fairly big in size and take up space, added Wu.
As one of the most popular and well-known Lunar New Year plants, orchids are always associated with “elegance, abundance, innocence and fertility,” explained Wu, adding there is a wide variety of orchids out there, but you can never go wrong - they are all good. It’s easy to take care of orchids as they can last several months and brighten up your home with enough watering.
The narcissus, also known as the Chinese sacred lily, symbolizes prosperity and good fortune, which is an ideal gift for friends and family during the Lunar New Year celebration, said Wu, noting the most special thing about the narcissus is it smells like candy. Wu suggests people who are interested in narcissus buy them closer to Lunar New Year, so they will be in full bloom at the right time.