Gardens and horticulture

It was always going to be difficult to get round the three openings last Thursday: Bethnal Green, Bloomsbury and Mayfair are not easy to squeeze in on the way home after work. And as it happened I got to none of them, instead entertaining an overseas work colleague at the Old Justice, which I think […]

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Hwang Jihae’s Hanging Garden of Billingsgate

by Philip Gowman 11 November 2013
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One of the most prominent exhibits at the Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo at Billingsgate was not a hologram of Psy or an animated cartoon character, but a garden that was a full 22 metres long, dominating the space behind the main stage’s seating area. In an event designed to demonstrate the range of Korean […]

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The Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 opens in Jeollanam-do

by Philip Gowman 21 April 2013
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Hwang Ji-hae, Korea’s best-known garden designer, won’t be at Chelsea this year. After two consecutive Chelsea gold medals, she’s taking a break from what is possibly the world’s most prestigious flower show, and instead has been concentrating on designing a garden closer to home: for Korea’s first International Garden Expo at Suncheon, Jeollanam-do. The Mayor […]

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Japanese invaders colonise Dokdo

by Philip Gowman 15 July 2012
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This month’s Korea.net magazine features Dokdo, but in cataloguing the island’s human and plant inhabitants, the magazine reveals five species with suspiciously Japanese-sounding names that have a firm foothold on the Korean islands. In the plant world, there’s Artemisia japonica var. macrocephala Pampan and Rumex japonicus Houttuyn (both ominously said to be “spreading quickly these […]

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Hwang Jihae: two Chelsea gold medals and now the RHS President’s Award

by Philip Gowman 25 May 2012
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HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Hwang Jihae for winning the RHS President’s Award – an ward which in the past has always been given to a display in the main pavilion. The attention to detail and the meticulous planting caught the eye of President Elizabeth Banks, who in her time has herself won five Chelsea Gold Medals. […]

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Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden — an appreciation of the Chelsea gold medal-winner

by Philip Gowman 22 May 2012
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It was the first decent day of the month. Although it had started grey and cold, the forecasters promised sun and heat, and they were spot on. Quite a good day then, after all the hard preparation by Hwang Jihae’s team, to be awarded a coveted Chelsea gold medal, for the second year runnning. Was […]

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It’s another Gold Medal – congratulations to Hwang Jihae’s team!

by Philip Gowman 22 May 2012
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Yes, it’s another gold medal. More coverage soon once I’ve had a chance to see the finished garden myself. Links: LKL’s complete coverage of Hwang Jihae’s gardens at Chelsea 2012 and 2011 Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden on Facebook. Please donate using the Paypal sign.

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The DMZ Garden gets its finishing touches

by Philip Gowman 19 May 2012
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With the Chelsea Flower Show having its first judging day tomorrow (Sunday), all the show gardens have to be finished today. Yesterday Hwang Jihae’s team was boosted by some additional volunteers to help finish off the last details. The professionals did some final planting, filling in one or two gaps under the demanding and perfectionist […]

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A DMZ Watch-tower rises over the Chelsea Showground

by Philip Gowman 13 May 2012
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LKL gets an exclusive look at the construction of the DMZ “Quiet Time” garden, by Korean designer Hwang Jihae, at the Chelsea Flower Show. With the increased tension on the Korean peninsula the narrow strip of demilitarized land which separates north and south is ever more in focus. The timing of Hwang Jihae’s appearance at […]

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The DMZ as eco-tourism – and as a garden

by Philip Gowman 8 May 2012
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South Korea is turning the DMZ into eco-tourism zone, says Lucy Williamson on the BBC. Hwang Jihae’s DMZ Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this year is looking increasingly relevant. Links: LKL’s complete coverage of Hwang Jihae’s gardens at Chelsea 2012 and 2011 Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden on Facebook. Please donate using the Paypal […]

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Letters from British Korean war vets in Chelsea Flower show

by Philip Gowman 10 December 2011
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Letters from British Korean war veterans will feature in Hwang Ji-hae’s DMZ Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2012. Interview with the garden designer in the Joongang Ilbo: http://t.co/lvTZYkgs

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Hwang Jihae will return to Chelsea in 2012

by Philip Gowman 22 November 2011
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2011 gold medal winner Hwang Ji-hae will return to the Chelsea Flower show in 2012, featuring a DMZ guard post instead of an outside privy http://t.co/PhwVBSP0

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The Changdeokgung’s Secret Garden – A Part of Nature

by Matthew Jackson 18 August 2011
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There was a series by Monty Don a while ago called Around the World in 80 Gardens. The East Asian segment was naturally devoted to Chinese and Japanese gardens. It is pity Korea was missed out, as the gardens of Korea have a distinct and unusual ethos. Koreans feel that nature has been good to them. […]

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Picture quiz: does anyone know the location of this wine-cup canal?

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2011
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I have a pretty book on Korean gardens by Heo Kyun, translated into English and published by Saffron Korea Library. It’s very informative and interesting reading, but I’m not sure I trust the caption which goes with one of its images. I’m in the process of writing up my Korea trip from back in May. […]

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So, what was Korean about the Haewooso garden?

by Philip Gowman 2 June 2011
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As I looked at the Haewooso garden for the first time, of course the first thing I noticed was the structure at the back of the 4m x 5m plot – the privy after which the Haewooso garden is named. It was set at the end of a rustic path which looked as if it […]

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Why Korea should be proud of Jihae Hwang, and why a sponsor should step forward for next year

by Philip Gowman 31 May 2011
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Not many Koreans will have heard of Jihae Hwang. In fact, probably more Brits have heard of her. She has recently been on national TV here, with coverage in the best broadsheet newspapers. The English are known for their love of gardening. On sunny Spring Sundays and Bank Holidays, garden centres are crammed with people […]

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An evening with garden designer Hwang Jihae at Chelsea

by Philip Gowman 27 May 2011
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Drinking makgeolli in front of the Haewooso garden at Chelsea, with its designer Jihae Hwang. Perfect way to start a long birthday weekend. #. The Gold Medal winner and best Artisan Garden was getting lots of interested comments from the gardening cognoscenti.

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