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Title [Events] Orchid is new horticultural therapy [The Korea Times 2017-02-22]
Posted by webmaster Hit 70 Date 2017.02.23
From left in the front row are Helena Flower CEO Yoo Seung-jae, Irish Ambassador to Korea Aingeal O'Donoghue and Lee Won Orchids Nursery CEO Lee Chung. In the second row are CICI President Choi Jung-wha (seventh from left), The Korea Times CEO Lee Chang-sup (eighth from left) and Singaporean Ambassador to Korea Yip Wei Kiat (ninth from left) and New Zealand Ambassador to Korea Clare Fearnley (tenth from left). / Korea Times photo by Kim Jae-heun

By Kim Jae-heun

Lee Chung, the CEO of Lee Won Orchids Nursery, grew up watching his father grow some 2,500 types of orchid on his farm. His father spent almost 50 years studying the plants and caring for nature. Lee naturally spent much time raising various orchids and learning their characteristics.

Lee took over his father's business to run Asia's largest orchid farm in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, and now is focusing on showing the orchid as a new means of wellness through horticultural therapy.

"Everyone has stress and if we had treated it with chemicals before, now we should relieve it by raising an orchid," Lee said during the Corea Quotient (CQ) Forum, organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), at the residence of Irish Ambassador Aingeal O'Donoghue in Seongbuk, northern Seoul, Tuesday.

"You draw an eye, a nose and a mouth on the pot and give your orchid a name. Once a week, you will feed it water and when you do so, tell your worries to it.

"We give names to our pets who live by our side for over 10 years. But we don't give names to orchids that live over 20 years. Why not give names to our plants and talk to them?"

Lee suggests children write their dreams on the pot to remind themselves of their goals when they water the orchids. "This way, we can believe in the future and both the child and orchid grow to depend on each other," he said.

While introducing the new horticultural therapy, Lee gave tips on raising orchids, which often wilt too quickly for unknown reasons.

"Many think orchids are too hard to raise and they die because we didn't give them enough water," Lee said. "No. We give too much water.

"Fathers water orchids when they return home drunk at night and mothers water orchids in the morning. Then, grandmothers would pour another pot of water in at lunch and you will find your orchid will wilt a few days later. Only one person should take care of giving water."

Lee also recommended using water from the most natural source. Tap water is preferable to purified water and rain is better than tap water. He says there is no need to worry about acid rain because orchids can neutralize acidity to some extent.

Some 25 diplomats, CEOs and cultural leaders attended the CQ event, hosted by CICI President Choi Jung-hwa, to listen to Lee's hour-long lecture on growing orchids and their role in horticultural therapy.

Participants included O'Donoghue, Singapore's Ambassador to Korea Yip Wei Kiat, New Zealand Ambassador to Korea Clare Fearnley, Chevron Korea Chairman Bill Miner and the Director of Hawaiian Airlines in Korea Yu Soo-jin.

The CQ forum is designed to share cultural experiences and to promote Korea's image abroad. The "C" represents culture, concentration, communication, creativity and cooperation.
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