The world’s most treasured flower, in record numbersIn Korea, as in many parts of the world, orchids have been admired for centuries for their delicate beauty. Through Sunday, the country’s largest-ever orchid exhibition can be seen in the city of Goyang, Gyeonggi province, in a prelude to April’s annual Goyang Flower Exhibition.
The 2005 Korea Orchid Festival, at Ilsan Lake Park’s Goyang Flower Exhibition Hall, includes more than 20,000 orchids of 100 Western and Eastern species.
Orchids native to Korea are of the cymbidium sub-species; they can be seen in exhibition rooms along with orchids such as the Black Sceptre Rainbow and the Ruby Leopard Fire Flame. More than 600 plants cultivated by individual orchid lovers are also on display, as well as a rare and beautiful species known as the Greek Goddess’s Slippers (or paphiopedilum, as it’s also known).
Also displayed is an example of the tallest orchid in the world, the Giant Orchid (grammatophyllum speciosum), which is found mostly in Indonesia and the Philippines. The golden-yellow specimen here is more than 2.5 meters tall.
Upon entering the exhibition hall, there is an exquisite display of orchid artwork on the ceiling, along with orchid-decorated towers and gardens. Several rows of flower arrangements follow, along with prizes won at local competitions. The indoor architecture consists of a walking path surrounded by topiaries in the shapes of animals, houses and pavilions.
During the exhibition, an orchid contest will be held at which cultivators can show off their masterpieces and visitors can buy them at discounts. Also, an orchid photography contest will be held.
A “well-being” room offers information on how orchids can be used to refresh and revitalize the home. Visitors can also consult with orchid experts on how to cultivate and manage the flowers; a lecture on orchid cultivation will be held Saturday. Before departing, visitors can stop by stalls that sell small to medium-size orchids and, if they like, try some cultivation at home.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is 4,000 won ($4) for adults and 2,000 won for children and senior citizens. To get there, use Jeongbalsan station, line No. 3, exit 2, and walk 10 minutes toward the park. For more information, visit www.flower.or.kr or call (031) 908-7750~4.
by Choi Jie-ho