Sam in South Korea

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Sam Lemheney, Director of Design for the Philadelphia International Flower Show, is in South Korea this week, presenting talks to several groups on behalf of the Show and the International Festival and Events Association. IFEA Korea has organized the international seminar at the Hamyeoung Butterfly Festival and has invited event producers from around that region to participate and learn best practices from the Philadelphia show, the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam, and the Butterfly Festival. Sam will also speak to university students of management about “Characteristics of a Successful Event.”

Sam arrived in Seoul on Tuesday after a 17-hour flight, then traveled three more hours by car to Daejong, where the headquarters of IFEA Korea is located. Here is his first dispatch from his Korean sojourn:

Today we started the day with a visit to Donghak Temple. The temple is located in a national forest of old pine and zelkova trees on Mt. Gyeryong. This temple is one of the Hwaeom Buddhist Order’s ten major temples. It has five small temples and ten smaller buildings with over 1,000 Buddhist statues. Donghak Temple is where Buddhist nuns from all over Korea are educated.

We then had lunch. I told my hosts when I arrived that I wanted to try many of the local dishes, so they took me to their favorite restaurant. We sampled kimchee, octopus, squid, red pepper snails, and many vegetables. The one fish that I was excited to try was blowfish. The chefs have to be certified to prepare the fish because if it is prepared wrong, poison will seep into the meat and make you very sick. I was a little reluctant and made sure the others tried it first. It was actually quite tasty — a very mild white fish, and very good with a little soy sauce.

After lunch, we headed to the Hanbat Arboretum. This is a new public arboretum — less than a year old — and botanical garden in the middle of Daejong. The garden is divided into many small sections: the Maple Garden, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Bog Garden, Sensory Garden, and Wild Plants Garden. The Rock Garden was my favorite because it appeared to be the most mature. It was situated on a small hill which you could climb and then overlook the entire garden. I also enjoyed the large sweeps of azaleas. The other sections were still very young with many of the trees still staked. Also, the weather prior to my visit was extremely cold. Temperatures were near freezing, the coldest it had been at that time of year in over 100 years. Needless to say, most of the plants and trees were looking a little stressed. I have to say, though, that when this garden matures, it will be quite spectacular.

We start our talks tomorrow and will be visiting the Hampyeoung Butterfly Festival.

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