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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Expo visit: 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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2013 Travel Diary #32: The Seokpajeong — a haven of peace in Buamdong

by Philip Gowman 14 September 2013
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Seoul Museum, Buamdong, Seoul, Saturday 14 September, 5pm.  There are two main reasons to visit Seoul Museum apart from any temporary exhibition that might be taking place: the important collection of 20th Century Korean art which seems to be on permanent display, and the Seokpajeong, the Joseon dynasty villa once occupied by the Daewongun. The […]

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2013 Travel Diary #18: Suncheon Garden Expo — The Korean Garden

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2013
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Suncheon-si, Tuesday 10 September, 11:30am. As we emerge from the container tunnels on the western bank of the river we are beginning to wilt in the heat and we are sorely tempted to exit the expo at the nearest gate. But then we catch sight of a frozen (and non-alcoholic) cocktail stall which gives us […]

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2013 Travel Diary #17: Suncheon Garden Expo — The Bridge of Dreams

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2013
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Suncheon-si, Tuesday 10 September, 11am. The expo precincts are shaped like an inverted triangle, its long northern baseline lying on a straight road which leads eastwards to Gwangwang and westwards towards the tea fields of Boseong. This baseline is about two kilometres long, but in the heat it feels three times that. At the Sancheong […]

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2013 Travel Diary #16: Suncheon Garden Expo — The Lugworm’s Trail

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2013
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Suncheon-si, Tuesday 10 September, 10am. Like many areas of the Suncheon Garden Expo, Hwang Ji-hae’s garden, which was the main reason for my coming to Suncheon in the first place, also limits its reliance on floral colour. Looked at from above, or viewed from the source of the water (top left of above image) which […]

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2013 Travel Diary #15: Swirls and spirals in the Suncheon Lake Garden

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2013
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Suncheon-si, Tuesday 10 September, 8am. After the rich variety of the hanjeongsik food the previous evening, the buffet breakfast at the hotel offered comfort for a lazy western palette. I could have had some Korean food – miso soup, noodles, rice, the normal offering – but instead I went for toast, omelette, frankfurter, and tomato […]

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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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