For those who can’t wait, flowers are already in bloom

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For those who can’t wait, flowers are already in bloom

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An array of light purple Cape Primrose is the most-visited spot at the botanical garden.


*As winter fades away, the wind doesn’t seem as chilly and the days are growing longer. Yet in most parts of the country, the beautiful spring flowers are still at least one month from full bloom.

For those who simply cannot wait, the JoongAng Ilbo did some research and chose four arboretums and botanical gardens where visitors can feast their eyes on beds of flowers even before spring takes hold.

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Top: Bibimbap topped with edible flowers Above: About 200 budgerigars live at the Asan Botanical Garden.

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Asan, a small city in South Chungcheong, is probably spas. But an increasing number of people head to Asan not only to soak up the high-quality mineral water, but also to visit Asan Botanical Garden, the largest indoor botanical garden in the nation.

Regardless of the weather outside, a total of 3,000 different flowers come into bloom one after another all year across its 33,000 square meters (8.15 acres).

Late last month, the exterior of the facility, basically located in the middle of nowhere, wasn’t that impressive.

But stepping inside leads to an entirely different world with flowers of all types in full bloom.

“You will soon see daffodils and tulips,” said Nam Ki-joong, 57, who is the head of the garden.

Flower farmers in the region opened the botanical garden in 2004.

“It costs us 2 million won to heat the entire greenhouse each day during the winter, but we are happy to see people who are delighted with the flowers,” Nam noted. Each section of the garden has a different theme.

There is one with Oriental orchids and another with herbs, for instance.

Among the others, the most popular is a spot where small purple Cape Primrose make a tunnel. Long lines of couples often wait for their turn to pose for a photo with the flowers.

Operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starting in March, the garden will be open for one additional hour to 6 p.m.

Admission is 6,000 won for adults, 5,000 won for youth and 4,000 won for children.

A 10 percent discount coupon is available on the garden’s Web page.

Children who visit can take part in various activities such as dying handkerchiefs with flowers.

Visitors can also try bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables) topped with edible flowers at the botanical garden for 6,000 won.

For more information, visit http://www.asangarden.com or call (041) 544-0746.



By Na Won-jeong [so@joongang.co.kr]
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