looking no further, the ‘Seoul Irisgarden’ 서울 창포원 park is visible right outside our apartment window. my grandfather actually takes a walk around this park every morning.
nestled between Dobong-san 도봉산 on the West and Surak-san 수락산 in the East, this park is a haven for so many residents in the area.
i shamelessly stole these photos from a blog
you can actually see my apartment in one of the photos.
the visitor’s center and office(?) building’s roof is lined with solar panels. the park boasts some really beautiful iris flowers, now withered in the late summer, in the well-made brochures, there’s a map displaying the locations of 12 different themes of natural ecology 도심속의 자연생태 공원 that can be found right smack here in the middle of the city. (actually dobong-san area is pretty ‘rural’ relative to the busy overcrowded districts of seoul such as gangnam or sinchon for example). among these 12 ‘themes’, i was impressed with the ‘aromatherpy botanical garden’, very small but includes chamomile, oregano, peppermint, vergamot etc. and they have a board where the names, photos and descriptions of each herb is written for visitors to read and enjoy. this is true for other such themed gardens in which grow numerous medicinal plants and herbs. 강정강장자원식물원, 십전대보탕식물원, 쌍화탕식물원 etc. There’s also a ‘book reading hill’ 책읽는 언덕 with benches shaded by trees. there’s always classical music playing through the speakers well hidden from view around the park.
a lot of things going on here. the seoul park did a good job in planning to make this park an educational, aesthetically pleasant, cultural, healing and resting place, amongst many other things.
having visited seoul last winter, i marvel at how green the park looks compared to the barren grays and twig-like state of plants and trees a few seasons ago. korea, often called ‘dynamic korea’ as a promotional slogan, used to boast its fine four seasons. the springtime and fall being the most beautiful, in my opinion. now they say there is no fall anymore. the summer will turn into winter all of a sudden sometime around october. global warming. the tree’s leaves don’t turn into the deep reds and oranges they used to. the climate change is doing some very unusual things to this country, as with the very unusual abundance of rain which poured down august and september, whereas the usual monsoon season used to be only in july.
ah. the fall. as a young girl i remember the fall time in our front yard when my mother fell down the tree trying to pick persimmons for her eager daughter….