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发布时间:2022-05-25 点击: 次 编辑:admin
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70-year-old “Fashionable Grandma” Lives Her Best Life

历时二十八载养花种草 后院荒坡变成桃源

28 Years of Growing Flowers and Plants Turns a Barren Slope into a Paradise

楚天都市报极目新闻记者 成昱勋

实习生 张旭红 王丽珠

翻译 尤豆豆 何凌寒 卫拉(湖北大学)


Reporter: Cheng Yuxun

Trainee reporter: Zhang Xuhong, Wang Lizhu

Translators: You Doudou, He Linghan, Lisa M.K (Hubei University)


Taking a hoe as her paintbrush and the ground as paper, Xu Xinmin, a 78-year-old grandma in Xianning, has her house surrounded in flowers and plants. Her consistent efforts for over 20 years" have turned the once 500 square-meter barren slope into a dream garden.


The cobblestone path paved into the couple"s yard is lined with flowers such as irises and roses, as well as fruit trees including oranges and pomegranates covered in so many fruits that the branches have bent over. On the right-side of the path, more than a dozen succulent species are placed on a shelf while on the left-side lies a small pond. The courtyard of more than 100 square meters is so secluded as a Utopian paradise.


Xu Xinmin and her 86-year-old husband Xiao Shili have worked conscientiously to build a beautiful home. In 2020, they were awarded the “Most Beautiful Family of Environmental Protection in Hubei” by the Hubei Provincial Women"s Federation and the Hubei Provincial Civilization Office. Xu Xinmin is also affectionately known as “fashionable grandma”.

衣着时尚的徐奶奶Grandma Xu dressed in fashionable clothes

28年精心装点 荒坡变成桃源

28 Years" of Meticulous Care has Transforms a Barren Slope into a Paradise


On April 8, JIMU News reporters paid a visit to this corner of Qinglong Community administered by Fushan Subdistrict Office of Xian’an District, Xianning City. In the distance, the yard"s wall full of star jasmine can be seen. The white petals hidden in the middle of the green leaves fill the air with a refreshing fragrance, momentarily taking one away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Xu Xinmin, in a bright yellow hoodie, close-fitting jeans and a pair of white sneakers, has been standing at the door to greet them. Dressed so fashionably, one would never imagine she"s actually nearing her eighties.


Going through the door and into the courtyard, a sea of green jumps into one"s view. The red wall on the left side of the cobbled path is thickly covered in lush vines. The delicate fragrance of the wisteria that occupies the second-floor balcony wafts around. Down the stairs are two large lawns with flowers and fruit trees. Being in this 100 square-meter yard is like walking into a secluded paradise.

屋顶的紫藤花Wisteria on the roof


“In the beginning, it was a barren slope overgrown with weeds. After moving in, I tried to plant some flowers and trees, but due to my lack of experience, they always either got sick or dried up and died. Later, I bought a bunch of professional books to study by myself, and gradually mastered the essentials of gardening”. According to Xu Xinmin, her yard is evergreen and fragrant all year round. In addition to flowers and plants, there are many fruit trees, like loquats, Newhall navel oranges, and Shatian pomelos.


To turn that original barren slope into the paradise it is today, Xu Xinmin and Xiao Shili spent a full 28 years. When it comes to the reason she likes flowers and plants so much, Xu Xinmin lovingly caressed the flowers that had bloomed in front of the house, saying “In my opinion, gardening not only protects the environment, it"s also a good way to stretch my body and exercise. If every family could plant some flowers, the whole city would improve.”

挥锄陶冶情操 乐当花草达人

Cultivating Her Mind through Gardening, Enjoying the Life of a Gardener


“Despite my age of 80 years old, I can still take a taxi and plant trees by myself. As long as I can still walk, I will never stop.” The whole of Xu Xinmin"s family is enthusiastic about environmental protection and public welfare. Over the years, they have not only turned their nearly 500 square-meter barren slope into a paradise, but also drove their neighbors into being diligent and thrifty by advocating a green and healthy life, in an effort to build a better community.


Every China Arbor Day, Xu actively participates in voluntary tree planting activities, and the trees she"s planted so far can be found in both Xianning People"s Square and Shiliutan Park. Whenever she sees someone picking flowers in a public space she always stops them. Besides that, in an effort to decorate and beautify their community, Xu even willingly propagated her own French Canna and Iris into the public flower beds.


The trees and flowers in the courtyard have become an inseparable part of Xu and her husband Xiao Shili"s life. A few years ago, they planned to visit their daughter in Canada and stay there for one year. However, only four months later, Xu was already anxiously hoping to return back home. She laughed and said that although a gardener had been asked to take care of the flowers and plants in the yard, she was still worried because she planted and raised them all with her own hands and hence had deep affection for them.

郁郁葱葱的庭院Grandma Xu"s lush yard


Besides her love for flowers and plants, Xu is also enthusiastic about sharing her gardening techniques and her own seedlings with others. Fellow plant lovers in their community always visit them in search of seedlings, meanwhile the couple willingly share with others all their gardening knowledge. Overtime, they have become famous among their neighbors, even their daughter and her friends in Canada think of them first whenever they encounter difficulties related to flowers and plants.


“Whenever I see the whole yard full of green and the process of trees blossoming and bearing fruit, I"m filled with joy.” Xu told the Jimu News reporter. Also, Xu hopes that more elderly women can abandon the habit of playing poker cards and instead cultivate their minds by gardening like she does.


“This good family tradition of Xu"s family is worthy of praise.” Said Wang Hongbo, President of Xian’an Women"s Federation. Wang also expressed the hope that there would be more “fashionable grandmas” in Xian’an in the future, who focus on practicing traditional family virtues and giving full play to the unique role of “women representatives” in this new era.

岁月不败美人 要做时尚奶奶

She"s Determined to be a Fashionable Grandma Because Beauty is Not Lost with Age


“Who says that Chinese old ladies can"t wear swimsuits?” In December 2020, Xu Xinmin who was in a swimsuit was mistaken for a foreigner by other tourists during her holiday on Hainan Island. Xu, with a full head of gray-hair and a well-proportioned body, stood on the beach in a swimsuit and took pictures, attracting crowds of people with her distinctive aura and personality. Even further, she has integrated her fashion and confidence in her attitude towards life.


Xu Xinmin"s closet is full of all kinds of qipao (a close-fitting Chinese dress with a high collar and sliced sides), dresses, and other beautiful clothes as well as a dozen pairs of high-heeled shoes. “I have clothes of every style and they all fit me well. Although I am old, my friends actually call me a ‘teenage girl’!” Xu said she hoped that she could be on the cover of a fashion magazine one day and become an ageless “fashionable grandma”.


The passing years never age a true beauty. Xu"s optimistic and positive attitude towards life is even more valuable. “While my family encounters trivial matters too, but one can"t focus only on the dark side of life. We still need to love life with passion and forge ahead.” Though the 78-year-old Xu Xinmin now not only takes care of her husband, who is seriously ill at home, and keeps the house in good order, she still continues to keep her life interesting and lively.

老太太一张口,标准而清晰的普通话就将人深深吸引。2021年5月,在由中国老年大学主办的“讴歌百年荣耀 弘扬红色精神”主题演讲活动中,由徐新民参演的节目获评“优秀表演奖”。同年,徐新民还被咸安区妇联聘为“桂乡咸安巾帼宣讲队员”,成为公益宣讲活动中年龄最大的一位。不仅如此,徐新民还报名参加了咸宁市朗诵协会、老年模特队等,年轻、时尚仿佛成了这位老太太的代名词。

People would be deeply attracted by this old lady"s clear and standard Mandarin as soon as she speaks. In May 2021, the program performed by Xu Xinmin in the keynote speech activity of “Eulogizing the Centennial Glory and Carrying Forward the Chinese Revolutionary Spirit” hosted by China"s universities for the aged, was awarded the “Excellent Performance Award”. In the same year, Xu Xinmin was also hired by the Women"s Federation of Xian’an District as the “Women Lecturer of Xian’an”, becoming the oldest member of the activity for public welfare. Besides, Xu also signed up for the recitation association and the model team for the elderly in Xianning city. Young and fashionable, are the two words that seem to have become this old lady"s symbol.


“Grandma Xu"s attitude towards life is very relevant to modern life. Her overall attitude is positive, and she even takes the lead in trends in society.” Ye Zihan, a post-00s member of the recitation association of Xianning city, said that Grandma Xu"s positive attitude towards life was worth imitating by every young person.


Having someone to care for you, having something to enjoy in life, and having something meaningful to do in one"s old age have found vivid expression in Grandma Xu"s life. She has lived a life full of fun and happiness and has now became a “fashionable grandma” in the hearts of many. Every moment posted by Xu on her social media expresses her love for life. Just as she said: I love beauty, I pursue fashion,凯发娱乐网止, and I ignore age! Even if tomorrow was to be my last day, I will still choose to live a wonderful life today.

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