Yeomiji Botanical Garden (say it “Yuh-me-jee”) is one of five official botanical gardens and arboreta in South Korea.
Yeomiji means “a beautiful land”. They got that right!
Since I haven't been to every one of them, I can't really say. But I can tell you that it's a botanical garden not to be missed. You'll be euphoric with the bounteous conservatory, greenhouse and outdoor garden displays.
Devote a few days... not a few hours... to this paradise.
A cheerful little train that does duty all day chugging through the garden.... it stops inside the front gate at the garden entrance.
Jump on, take your seat and the man will come and take your money for your ticket.
I went on the train tour my first time at the garden just to get my bearings.It takes 10 or 15 minutes and while I was chugging around the garden, I planned out my walking tour.
It's always a good idea to get on a tour before you go hiking off with your camera. Even more important if you have limited time to spend there.
Once you're finished the tour, you'll pass the hydrangea walk... so gorgeous when they're in bloom!
The conservatory is a central observation tower with five adjoining greenhouses. From above it has the shape of a sunflower but from the ground.... the unit looks somewhat like a UFO.
Terrific place to take a portrait.... with the spring floral display as a backdrop.
We're in the central hall and it's usually very busy. I waited until it was closing and most people had left.
Don't you love the brightly coloured pod elevator? It takes you up to the observation tower for a 360° panoramic view. Jeju Island is a golfer's fantasy and from the top there's a fabulous view of a golf course and the gardens.
I was at sitting on a bench in the Yeomiji Botanical Garden Centre Hall and there it was... hovering beside my arm. I thought it was a hummingbird at first but couldn't explain the long siphon in place of a beak!
... My first encounter with one of these tiny "whirly-birds".
And visit the Nature Canada article on the Hummingbird Moth.
Jeju Island is a horticultural paradise and this garden shows off it's water baby blooms.
Sit back and enjoy this minute of video entertainment. Brought to you by Me :) and the Waterlily Garden at Yeomiji Botanical Garden.
Music: Valentina's Romanza (BeatheBeat) which can be purchased through http://audiojungle.net (item #83036), part of Envato.com
There are almost 500 cacti species right here in this greenhouse at Yeomiji Botanical Garden. A outstanding place to find lots of lines and patterns.
Rows of rounded cacti with their barbed needles make for some interesting repeating patterns and textures. You wouldn't want to sit on one of these!
These look like alien life forms... little faces with eyes and tentacles.
When you get so close to nature, there are things you can hardly imagine. I'm always amazed at what I see through a macro lens... a whole world we aren't usually aware of.
I took both vertical and horizontal views of this cactus but I liked the lines and patterns better in the vertical view.
Don't despair if you only have your cell phone with you when some close up photo opportunities come up. You can work that cell phone camera like you wouldn't believe...
We're in a rain forest ecosystem now, just like the Amazon Jungle!
This fellow has a partner who didn't make it into the scene! They have the swamp to themselves... except for some giant Mesozoic flowers and ferns.
On the other side are a couple of dinosaurs, to show both ancient and present day life in a rain forest... yes, right here in Yeomiji Botanical Garden!
Coffee, mangoes, starfruit and...
I realize the 7 dwarfs aren't fruit but they were hanging around the garden. Chuckle :)
When I went back several months later, they'd disappeared. Aww, the kids loved Snow White and her buddies.
There are 4 cultural gardens and several theme parks in this popular Jeju Island garden. They'll keep you and your camera busy the entire day.
Starting out from the front entrance of the Greenhouses... the Palm Garden is on the left, across from the hydrangea walk.
Several of the palms had small asters clinging to the tree trunks... photos were a must!
The Cheju Native Plants Garden at Yeomiji Botanical Garden is dedicated to conserving the Jeju Island endemic plants and their endangered species. Visit this endemic garden to see how well they're doing.
I spent a lot of time photographing the Perennial Garden beside the Japanese Garden. Include the basalt rocks in your photos to show the volcanic origin of the island and it's rich soil.
The Children's Garden is a tiered, circular, sunken garden.
At different times of the year they plant vegetables in this sheltered circular garden. But the plantings vary. Everything grows so quickly in the hot, humid climate.
Behind is a field of thick deep golden rudbeckia.
The Children's Garden at Yeomiji is a circular, tiered garden with all kinds of vegetables and on all my visits, a topiary duck in the middle.
The classic formal French Garden photographed in the morning mist.
Well manicured hedges and roses bushes, a central fountain... and a direct view of the Italian fountain. With all these lines and angles, you absolutely must line everything up straight before you snap - nothing leaning -- use a tripod!
Even though you're on Jeju Island in South Korea, you get the feeling you're in Europe.
Right next door to the French Garden is the Italian Garden.
The gigantic teacup-shaped fountain is a replica of the Fountain Obata near Rome.
This is no tea-cup sized fountain, folks. It's gigantic and the sound of the water splashing is amazing. Sit in one of those chairs and listen to it.
The Lawn Garden is behind the conservatory. Mostly grass but there's a topiary peacock with flowering tail feathers, ornamental trees and some basalt sculptures.
You can catch some nice landscape photography here.
There are usually families relaxing on the lawn.
In this shot, a Red Horse Chestnut frames a sculpture and covers a boring gray monsoon sky
The Korean Garden has a colourful traditional pavilion and water lily pond with lots of native flowering shrubs.
Traditional Korean gardens, like other Asian gardens. aren't formal like Western gardens. Instead, they merge in with nature. They're very simple with trees and water features -- ponds, streams or rivers, and maybe some waterfalls.
The Japanese Garden has several varieties of stunning irises and a large pond full of Koi fish.
Hydrangeas, trees and shrubs make a thick frame around the red half-moon bridge.
There's a dry garden of rock and sand on the other side of the bridge. Spend a few minutes sitting and meditating beside it.
Visit, or stay at, the posh Jungmun Resort (say it “Jung-moon”) on the southwest Pacific shore of Jeju Island. About 50 minutes drive from Jeju City.
Yeomiji Botanical Garden is part of the resort and walking distance from all the major hotels. Dedicate at least a full day to do the gardens and greenhouses justice.
For the best photography experience, take along your tripod and be sure to protect your gear during rainy season. It's worth the trip from Seoul, less than an hour's flight, so make every effort to work it in if you're going through Inch'eon.