Korean Gardener Triumphs Again at Chelsea Flower Show

      May 24, 2023 13:07

      Korean garden designer Hwang Ji-hae has won yet another medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, where she has been the darling of the horticultural world for many years.
      Hwang (47) won the gold medal in the Show Gardens category for "A Letter from a Million Years Past," which was so popular that even King Charles III made it his first stop when he visited on opening day Monday. 
      The garden is an evocation of the last primeval forest in the southeastern area of Korea's Mt. Jiri, which is a habitat for many indigenous medicinal plants. 
      Garden designer Hwang Ji-hae hugs U.K. King Charles III at the Chelsea Flower Show in London on Monday. /Yonhap
      She recreated the mountainous terrain with 200 tons of rocks arranged around two streams that nurture the plants and surround a traditional herb drying tower.
      Organized by the 250-year-old Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea Flower Show has been held annually since 1827. Queen Elizabeth II visited the event almost every year when she was alive.
      According to Hwang, King Charles III and Queen Camilla visited only three of the 12 Show Gardens, and hers was their first stop. The king agreed to give her a hug when she asked for it.
      Born in Gokseong, South Jeolla Province, Hwang studied Western painting at college but turned to landscape gardening to help her two brothers, who had a construction business.
      She also won the gold medal and the Best Artisan Award at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show for "Hae Woo So: Emptying Your Mind: Traditional Korean Toilet," blending the traditional Korean outhouse toilet into a garden. The following year, she won the President's Award and gold medal with "Quiet Time: DMZ Forbidden Garden," which recreated the abandoned strip separating the two Koreas and its burgeoning flora. 
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