Among the best things about living in Shanghai are the bird and flower markets that scattered around town, carry much more than just birds and flowers.
Individual vendors line aisle after aisle, with foliage spilling out onto the walkways and from the smallest bonsais to towering bamboos, everything needed to green your home and garden can be found here.
Most house plants come potted in ceramic pots, while seasonal flowers come in plastic pots or disposable containers. Soil, fertilizers and garden tools are also in abundant supply.
Fresh flowers abound in the market - fragrant lilies, eucalyptus branches, tiny rosebud bouquets and more elaborate arrangements. Many of the vendors also sell glass vases in varying shapes and sizes.
Small animals are also sold: birds, rabbits, dogs, fish, turtles and the accompanying paraphernalia. It's a fun outing for the kids, but be aware that buying a pet here does pose some hazards. The dogs are given high doses of antibiotics to mask disease, with many falling ill soon after purchased.
Most bird and flower markets also have shops selling a variety of other goods: dishware, antiques, baskets, candles, tea, ribbons, knick-knacks and home decor.
Hongqiao Flower Market
718 Hongjing Lu, near Hongsong Lu 闵行区虹井路718号, 近红松路
Jingwen Flower Market
225 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Yongjia Lu 陕西南路225号, 近永嘉
Yongjia Flower Market
406 Shananxi Nan Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu 陕西南路406号, 近复兴中路
Wanshang Bird & Flower Market
417 Xizang Nan Lu, near Liuhekou 西藏南路417号, 近浏河口路
Pudong Flower Market
620 Pujian Lu, near Yanggao Nan Lu 浦建路620号, 近杨高南路
By Daisy Wakefield from Urbanatomy's Family Guide to Shanghai