In late February the CHS represented by President Elizabeth Peacock, Vice-President Alan Jolliffe and Honorary Life member Michael Coulter hosted a delegation from Suncheon, a city of approximately 300,000 in South Korea located in the Jeollanam region.

The delegation led by Professor Jongsang Sung from the Department of Landscape Architecture at Seoul National University comprised academics, research students and local bureaucrats and the purpose was to find out ways and means of “enhancing Suncheon’s international status as a garden city in Korea”.

Considered a must-visit eco-city for nature lovers, Suncheon offers a perfect blend of scenic beauty and rich biodiversity. Among its top attractions are the vast field of reeds at Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park (Field of Reeds) and the two temples recognized by the Michelin Green Guide for their picturesque scenery—Songgwangsa Temple and Seonamsa Temple. The city further established its reputation as an eco-city by hosting the International Garden Exposition Suncheon Bay Korea 2013.

The discussion covered a wide range of aspects of how Christchurch achieved its status as “the garden city” and in particular what motivated private citizens to develop their colourful, floral gardens that have contributed so much to the city’s image.

The CHS’s role and its numerous activities such as All About Gardening, Interactive Horticulture workshops, Summer/Spring Garden awards and more recently Edible Garden Awards were discussed at length and a strong connection was made. It is likely that the CHS may soon receive invitations in the future to visit Suncheon in an advisory capacity.