Horticulture Universities in Europe
Wonsoon and I first met when he attended the annual pool and BBQ party for Longwood Gardens students at Chanticleer. After graduating from the Longwood Graduate Program in public garden management, he returned to South Korea where he now tends and designs plantings. It has been interesting to discover how horticulture is seen and practiced in Korea especially when much attention have been focused on China and Japan.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Wonsoon Park, a plant lover. I majored in Horticultural Science from Seoul National University, and went through several jobs as a book editor. Then I changed my career to be a horticulturist. Recently I have completed the International Gardener Training Program at Longwood Gardens, and Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware. Now I’m working for Samsung Everland company as a Senior Manager of the Park Landscape Center.
The arts or horticulture?
The arts based on horticulture
Despite graduating with a degree in horticultural science, you were a book editor prior to your professional development as a horticulturist. How did you first become interested in horticulture and why did you return to the profession?
I grew up in rural town where I helped my family to work for rice paddies and vegetable gardens, and this led me to choose Horticultural Science for my college major. Those plants in the gardens were not the fancy and showy ones but onions, sesame, pepper and cabbages, and my grandmother grew some grapes and persimmon in her backyard garden. So the first impression of horticulture to me was sort of farming or agriculture until I found its real charm later.
I became a book editor since I loved reading and producing books about science and nature. While I was exposed to many books about plants and gardens, I rediscovered horticulture, especially when I visited New York Book Expo in 2003. I’d like to learn more about horticulture not about agriculture but about flowers and gardens. Soon I was obsessed by the world of horticulture and I traveled to many gardens and natural areas whenever I had free time, before I moved to Jeju Island, the most beautiful and ecologically important island in Korea, not only to work in a botanical garden named Yeomiji but also to explore the island’s unique flora and nature.
What does your job involve?
I’m currently working for Samsung Everland Company, which has the largest amusement park in Korea like the Disney World. There are several display gardens including the Four Seasons Garden and Rose Garden within the park. As the Senior Manager, I’m mainly in charge of planting design in the park area including the Four Seasons Garden which is a year-round garden from tulip displays to winter holiday season mingled with garden ornaments according to various themes.