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By Ash KURMA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)

Having lived in Saudi Arabia for 18 years, I know that it is difficult to appreciate the joys of spring when you face an average temperature of 35 degrees all year long. So an aspect of Hong Kong life I am thoroughly enjoying is definitely the balance of seasons we get.
Bauhinia Blakeana
(Chinese : 洋紫荊)
When I was about to write this article, I took a walk around our Student Residence to give myself a couple of ideas. The first thought that hit me was the colours of the blossom and plants. Ever wondered what the scatters of pink and purple around the residence are? These are the famous Bauhinia Blakeana of Hong Kong planted by our caring gardeners. If you are wondering where else you have seen these flowers, you will notice that the symbol has been inscribed onto Hong Kong coins. But the strong wind in February seemed to make the flowers on the roundabout thin and I am hoping that they will grow thicker in the spring.

I sat on a bench in front of Hall 9 with the bright sunshine, the cool air and a pretty cherry tomato bush an arm’s span away. For me there is no other scene I would deem more appropriate for helping me complete my assignments, as it provides the perfect balance between enjoying the ambience for concentration and tranquility to relieve stress. On 7 March 2010, Hong Kong opened its doors to its very own Government House located in Upper Albert Road, Central Hong Kong. Visitors were treated to musical ensembles, flower shows and free tour guide services to have a true experience of the gorgeous Government House.  If you missed the visit and the blossom there, you can find other very convenient spots within walking distance. Shek Kip Mei Park (next to the footbridge in the Student Residence) and Cornwall Park (next to Festival Walk) are perfect places to visit for enjoying blossom with beautiful fragrance and fresh air.

So take a few minutes, call a friend and take a walk to appreciate the cheerful mix of flowers and orange blossoms planted all around our Student Residence, in the vicinity of Shep Kip Mei Park and Cornwall Park. Join me in welcoming the spring! And do not forget the great work that the SRO’s gardeners have been doing to make our Student Residence green and colourful. Be generous in giving them a big smile for the cheerful environment that they have been nurturing for us!