Five oversized greenhouses shelter six Yeomiji indoor gardens. These glass gardens bud off the observatory and centre hall - the entire building looks like a huge UFO. A bit peculiar but it's also towering and a massive structure.
The indoor greenhouse gardens are impressive... they're the largest in Asia. In this case, bigger is better... they house an extensive and diverse cache of native and international flora.
The five grand glasshouses could keep you totally consumed for days... especially if you're packing your camera. Lots to sample - here's the menu:
You'll have to discover the sub-menus for yourself. But I will give you some teasers.
If it's rainy season, you'll be grateful for staying high and dry in one of the glasshouses. Since you can go where you wish with a day's entrance fee, the indoor gardens are insurance that you won't be disappointed if you visit in the rainy season.
The weather changes on a dime over the day. You'll have lots of opportunities to visit
one or more of the outdoor gardens while the rain starts and stops. When it
starts, hustle back and pick up where you left off indoors... don't forget to protect your camera from the rain.
When you come into the Centre Hall, the Flower Garden is the first greenhouse on your left. This is where you'll find the orchids, and who doesn't love orchids?
But orchids aren't the only bloomers in this garden. Plenty of other flowers live in the Flower Garden. There's an impressive begonia display on the far side... check the picture up top to see part of the exhibit.
The lighting isn't always the best for photography when the sun's beating down on the greenhouses. It gets a little spotty
with dark shadow and bright light. You might need to use just a bit of fill flash to even out the light. Only use fill flash so you don't create dark ugly shadows
with a full-on assault of bright light.
A pool snakes its way along the centre of this glasshouse. The water is soft turquoise like a tropical sea. Several fountains spray water into the air. The sound of the water splashing into the pool is comforting.
Since the Yeomiji indoor gardens are such a popular attraction, during busy hours visitors' voices can compete with the relaxing sounds of water.
I prefer solitude and the tranquility of the water, but that isn't always an option. Your best shot at peace and quiet to meditate or focus on photography is the first hour or so
after opening in the morning. At least, that's my experience. Yeomiji indoor gardens attract multitudes of tourists and local visitors throughout the year so solitude isn't the norm.
One autumn I visited during Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok) and the entire island felt deserted. Everything was open for tourists but very few people around... all a little eerie. The gardens belonged only to me... and that was awesome!
The Vanda orchids are hanging around in baskets on the orchid side of their greenhouse. Vandas are at home in Asia... they love a warm environment and they found it here. Their blooms are stunning and they're big sellers in the flower market. There are around 80 species if you want to try growing some.
Orchids share the first of the Yeomiji indoor gardens with over 300 other varieties of flowering plants but, after orchids, I spent most of my time photographing begonias. There's a large display along the far wall. The mossy pots caught my attention and I photographed several of them. One of those images is at the bottom of the page... a soft pink begonia that looks so pretty with the green and orange mossy pot.
The gorgeous scents in the air are overpowering in this glass house. I always try to get there early when there were no crowds, I sit on a bench and take in all the gorgeousness around me.
Watch 90 seconds of some exquisite orchids in the Flower Garden.
Jeju Island is a horticultural paradise and water gardens are a dominant feature. Water is the primary substance that supports life, both our own lives as well as all other plant and animal life. It goes beyond the physical and embraces the spiritual.
Science proves that being near bodies of water reduces stress, improves performance and makes us happier and healthier. Haven't experienced a profound change in your physical and mental state after a week at the lake or the ocean? Even a few hours or a day is enough to create a noticeable change.
On their own gardens are healing environments but adding a pond or a small waterfall multiplies their restorative effect It shouldn't be a big revelation that bodies of water are integral parts of so many gardens.
For a better understanding of our connection to water, listen to this TED talk by Wallace J. Nichols who wrote one of my favourite books, Blue Mind. a book on my best-ever list. Once you're in YouTube, you'll see other of his TED Talks...
Yeomiji indoor gardens have their share of ponds and fountains.
Sit back and enjoy this minute of video entertainment. Brought to you by Me :) and the Waterlily Garden in the Yeomiji indoor gardens.
This could easily be your favourite greenhouse...
The 7 dwarfs definitely aren't fruit but they were hanging around the garden. Chuckle :)
Snow White's cottage, and Snow White herself, were right beside these fellows. When I went back several months later, they'd disappeared. Too bad since the kids loved Snow White and her wee buddies. Hopefully, they'll resurface from time to time. These are the perfectly adorable scenes worth photographing when you get the opportunity.
I love sharing my images with other people and one way of doing that is with note cards.
Flowers are profuse here on Vancouver Island. And, I've been so lucky to travel the world for the last 20 plus years. I've visited all kinds of gardens in so many different countries.... with pictures to keep as memories!
If you'd like to share my images with your friends and family, have a look at my Fine Art Flower Prints and Note Cards.
I'm doubly lucky to live by the ocean on Vancouver Island, so there's also a page for Fine Art Prints for Seaside Life - the sea lions, herons, eagles and more.
If you don't see the card image you want, contact me and tell me what image you'd like.
We're in a rain forest ecosystem now, just like the Amazon Jungle!
These two fellows are just chilling together... but not in an ordinary tropical jungle. They have a couple of alligator buddies and some giant Mesozoic flowers and ferns to fancy up the swamp. It's a bit of a mix from the Mesozoic era right up to the present. It shows how far back some plant origins reach. Like the tree fern.
Ferns in general date all the way back to the Jurassic Period. An incredibly resilient group. They've lived alongside the dinosaurs and survived all kinds of climatic cataclysms and they look as good today as they did then. Prime subjects for photography and I often use close-up or macro photos for textures or backgrounds.
There are almost 500 prickly cacti species right here in this greenhouse at Yeomiji Botanical Garden. A phenomenal place to find lots of lines and patterns.
Rows of rounded cacti with their barbed needles make artistic patterns and textures to photograph. You wouldn't want to sit on any of these... ouch!
It won't come as a shock to you, but I've read a few articles lately saying that Jeju Island is experiencing too much tourism... the environment and culture are suffering. Right, no surprise there. Just a reminder that if you visit, please "leave no trace".
Unfortunately, we humans are leaving our mark on the world and not in a good way. When the animals and plants suffer, we have to evaluate our actions. There are so many places I still want to see in the world but everything is changing so quickly.
Governments and corporations believe that the earth has infinite resources which is untrue. When you visit a garden, you're experiencing nature's healing intelligence. The surroundings dissolve the stress of the day. As if that isn't enough...
Plants are the raw materials of both Eastern medicine and Western pharmaceuticals. Plants supply us with paper we use to communicate, raw materials for homes and furniture, as well as our food. Not only do we eat plants but if you eat some form of meat, you can thank plants for being the food for other animals. Plants are the raw material of the energy we pump out of the ground as well as the oxygen we breath.
If the Yeomiji indoor gardens are the last of all the gardens you've visited in this incredible botanical garden, you'll have an appreciation for all that plants do for us. It's imperative that we undertake their care and preservation very seriously.