For those who can’t wait, flowers are already in bloom
*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.
Beartree Park, located in Sejong City, was a private arboretum of Chairman Lee Jae-yeon and his family.
Started with a couple of orchid pots 50 years ago, the small and humble space has became a spacious green sanctuary on 330,578 square meters (82 acres) of land.
Until April 2009, the arboretum was personal property, but Lee and his family decided to share it with the public because of its unique possessions.
On the site, there is a 600-year-old juniper tree and cuddly crescent moon bears that frolic on the green whenever the weather is warm.
Of many attractions in Beartree Park, the highlight is Mangyeong biwon, which translates to secret garden, with 10,000 different things to see.
The 1,500-square-meter garden houses the greatest number of flowers by far, including tropical green plants.
There are also cacti, including one interesting specimen that looks like it is wearing a mink fur scarf. It is actually a hybrid of crested and Baekmakryong cactus.
Aside from the nature, visitors might get a glimpse of Lee, the generous benefactor. At 82, he still visits four days a week.
The site is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the month of March.
Admission is 8,000 won ($7.40) for adults and 6,000 won for children.
An additional 2,000 won is required for those who want to look around Mangyeongbiwon.
On Saturdays the attraction offers hands-on experiences for children. For more information, visit www.beartreepark.com or call (044) 866-7766.
By Na Won-jeong [firstname.lastname@example.org]