UK royals visit Taiwan display at Chelsea show 


Source: Taiwan Today 
By John Scott Marchant

Taiwan’s exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show received the royal thumbs-up May 21, attracting visits from Queen Elizabeth II, the Dukes of York and Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent one day ahead of the event opening to the public.

The royals, who were welcomed by Shen Lyu-shun, ROC representative to the U.K., cast an approving eye over the stand designed around the theme “universal glory of the dragon.”

Adorned with 2,000 orchids of 50 varieties, the booth symbolizes the people of Taiwan’s best wishes for the queen during her Diamond Jubilee and the city of London as it gears up to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“Promoting orchids overseas is key to demonstrating Taiwan’s soft power and beneficial to Taiwan-U.K. exchanges in the field of horticulture,” Shen said.

“All of the orchids were shipped from Taiwan and are representative of our industry’s high-tech cultivation techniques. We plan to work with British growers to introduce more orchid species to the U.K.”

Tseng Chun-pi, secretary of exhibit organizer Taiwan Orchid Growers’ Association, said indigenous Cattleya, Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis orchids comprise the bulk of flowers used in the display.

“We believe that the beauty of these orchids helped persuade judges to award the exhibit a gold in the Great Pavilion Awards,” he said. “This follows up on past efforts that garnered silver and gold in 2010 and 2011, respectively.”

According to TOGA, the show has played a central role in promoting Taiwan’s orchid industry. Moth orchid exports to the U.K. increased from US$980,000 in 2009 to US$2.53 million in 2010, rising to US$3.52 million in 2011.

This year’s event, which is again being held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea May 22 to 26, has attracted over 500 exhibitors from all over the world. A total of 157,000 visitors are expected to attend the show.

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