An autumnal view of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in Huairou, Beijing. [Photo by SONG YU/FOR CHINA DAILY]
Greenery extended, additional plants introduced
Autumn in Beijing has long been considered the best time of year in the city, with cooler weather and golden falling leaves triggering a wealth of literary inspiration.
In an essay, the writer Yu Dafu (1896-1945) said that when he was in southern parts of the country, the arrival of autumn "served as a reminder of Tao Ran Ting (park) in Peiping (a former name for Beijing) with its reed catkins".
It also prompted memories of "Diaoyutai (scenic area) with its shady willow trees, the Western Hills with their chirping insects, Yuquanshan peak on a moonlit evening and Tanzhesi Temple with its reverberating bell."
Yu said he often longed to travel more than 1,000 kilometers from his home in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, to Beijing in the hope of enjoying autumn in the capital.
For decades, the Fragrant Hills, which rise to the west of Beijing, have attracted a large number of visitors in autumn eager to see the trees bedecked with golden leaves.
However, as the area became increasingly popular, many people felt it was hard to fully enjoy the scenery due to the large crowds.
As a result, for the past five years, the municipal government has worked to make areas of the city more colorful.