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As you may know, I was lucky enough to travel through South Korea for a couple weeks in June. I took some lovely pictures that are either garden-related or livestock-related and I thought I would share. I am trying to keep the descriptions breif since there are lots of pictures! Click on the actual photo for a larger picture.

This is a lovely ceramics idea I want to steal. These were hanging outside a little flower shop, and this is a side view. The front is actually wider and has a small hole at the bottom for water drainage. It must sound lovely when the water splashes on the bell hanging from the bottom.

I was told this is a green plum and they were in season during our trip. They sold the fruit on street corners with other produce, made them into juice, smoothies, etc.

Eggplants growing in a tidy little row. The retaining wall in the background was interesting, as it was made with several different materials: clay, rocks, tile, etc.
Peppers maybe? I seem to be more of a random, wild gardener. I don’t think I could even be organized enough to get all those stakes and twine setup…

This was a potted garden area, with lovely ginko trees shading the area from above. What an awesome idea to add interest to a shaded area! I might try this on a smaller scale on the north side of our house, where the chicken coop and shaded area is. A great use for my abandoned pottery!

I had never seen tobacco plants before, so I was quite surprised to discover how lovely they are. Lovely, but deadly.

I may be the only person who has traveled to an Asian country and still has no idea how exactly rice grows. This is a little rice paddy, which they tucked into every nook and cranny across the country. Does the rice form underwater? Does it sprout from the top?

I would love to recreate this little water element in our yard some day. After a patio gets built, so we don’t have to worry about moving it into place later.

Seoul is the largest city in South Korea and the residents still find every little space to utilize growing produce. This was way, way ,way above the city, up steep and rickety stairs. A little old woman was up there tending to her crop – can you imagine an elderly woman in the US climbing so many stairs alone to tend her garden? My 98 year old grandmother got in enough trouble with family members just trying to water her geramiums… It was inspiring to see this lady up here above the city noise, working and enjoying her garden. I believe that is some squash climbing over the fence as a trellis.

Also in the same area as the squash growing along that fence, except this time you get an idea of how high above the city we were. They make such use of the land.

This was at a local palace in Seoul which has a “Secret Garden”. It was probably around 95 degrees when we visited, but the second you walked through the gate into the garden you could feel the cold air just settle on you. Lovely trees formed a canopy with walking trails underneath. I could get used to those palace grounds… This was actually an opening in the garden that featured a water pond with lotus flowers and koi fish within the secret garden. The buildings in the background were the libraries.

Autumn is probably the best time to visit South Korea, as the weather is less humid and much cooler. The best part though would be the color show awaiting you with all the trees turning gold and scarlet. This was one beautiful Japanese Maple that just happened to be a red variety, but still reminded me a little of what I was missing being there in June.

We toured a Korean Folk Village, just south of Seoul, which showed traditional Korean houses and gardens. I loved seeing the harvest being dried outside, along with rolled up rugs and hollowed out gourds.

Also at the Korean folk Village, this is a chicken coop! It was so simple and practical. My only complaint is that they didn’t put down bedding in the coop, so the chickens just relieve themselves on hard, compacted clay which really did smell pretty badly. It has wire around the open areas, which is hard to see from this distance in the photo.

A very practical nesting box, or basket rather, inside a chicken coop at the Korean Folk Village.

This is not a great picture, but hopefully you can make out the momma chicken with her babies on the left side. They had a rooster in there too, which surprised me. I thought maybe they would be aggressive towards the chicks, especially in such a small place, but I guess not?

A store house at the Korean Folk Village, which was filled with ears of corn. Would this work in the Pacific NW?

Pigs! Also at the Korean Folk Village. Just wanted to share because I think pigs are cute. Again, the smell was not so fresh since they aren’t lining the pen with anything – just dry, hard clay.

Different types of bark are used for medicinal purposes in South Korea, although I am not sure what purposed exactly. These were drying outside a traditional home in the Korean Folk Village.

I cannot read Korean, but I believe these were bags of tea drying from the ceiling.

Seoul has a wonderful medicinal market that sells ingredients for Eastern medicine and teas. This is picture of different bark and mushroom being sold.

Also at the medicinal market, these bags contain bark as well as many ingredients for tea like dried roses, chrysanthemum flowers, berries, etc.

I have never seen anything like this: a tomato tree? I am not exactly sure how they did this, but it was real and on display in an amusement park near Seoul. It appears they had the root systems in a sack of some sorts hanging in the middle, which were wet.

Another amazing plant at the amusement park near Seoul, this tree is formed from a pepper plant. Are there pepper varieties that are perennial, or do they have to grow this plant every year? It gets quite cold in the winter, so I don’t think it’s an annual they have just kept alive…

I am not sure if this was a squash or just a flowering bush, but it was also at the Korean amusement park and was so cool to stand under! You can see to the right, but not as eaily seen, an eggplant tree formed in the same manner!

That is it! I have a million other pictures of my trip on my Flickr page, and I will actually be adding even more early next week. I know this was a long post, but there were just so many cool ideas I saw that I hope to incorporate back home. Maybe you can find some inspiration from some of these too?
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Written by Renee Wilkinson