News: Around our Diverse Asia-Pacific Region

Green thumb spreads at FED compound

Published May 8, 2017
Philip Siu waters his herb garden at the Far East District compound, April 29.

Philip Siu waters his herb garden at the Far East District compound, April 29.

SEOUL, South Korea - As the cherry blossoms bloomed around the Far East District compound, there were a few more flowers and plants that made their debut. Some of which were planted by our very own employees.

Robert Sundberg, District Counsel, and Philip Siu, Project Manager with the Programs and Project Management Division, planted a bit of their own additions to the vegetation springing up around the compound. Sundberg decided to plant tulips to welcome in this year’s spring season. He first introduced his green thumb to the FED compound last year, but decided to do something a bit more extensive this year. The tulips vary in vibrant colors and stand out in the foreground of an otherwise dull colored backdrop.

“Tulips are easy to plant. All you do is put the bulbs in the ground in the fall and they take care of themselves,” said Sundberg. “They are very pretty, have nice varieties and make a nice spring floral display.”

He added that the tulip garden was also a nice way to start the spring after a long hard grey winter.

According to Sundberg, organization is a big component to gardening, as the gardener has to strategically layer the plants to ensure continual bloom throughout the seasons.

Sundberg encourages other members of the district to join in the effort to preserve and improve the appearance of our work area.

“If they [employees] just want to come out sometimes and pick up liter, or some kind of beautification like gardening, I think it helps the whole team grow together,” said Sundberg.

He encouraged Siu who was having a bit of an issue with his at home garden due to its unnatural environment.

“There were a few bugs in the plants and there are no natural predators for these bugs in my apartment so Bob [Sundberg] suggested I bring them [the plants] to the compound,” said Siu.

When the plants were in Siu’s apartment initially they weren’t getting enough sunlight so he purchased a grow light. Although this light helped keep the plants alive, Siu said his garden is flourishing much better since being in the natural light of the compound. His garden mostly consists of herbs, due to his love for cooking and decided in order to have the freshest herbs he should grow them himself.

Although watermelon is typically planted in the ground, Siu decided to plant his in a pot. Unsure of the outcome, he is excited to see what becomes of his unconventional method of watermelon growing.

“I want to see if I can break through that mentality,” said Siu.  “If I give it a lot of fertilizer, will it grow just as well as if it was in the ground?”

He added that his garden at the compound has definitely given his coworkers something to talk about.

“They can come out here look at it and enjoy it as long as they don’t destroy the plants,” he chuckled.

If you’re located at the district compound please take a moment to check out the gardening area located next to the Office of Counsel, if not, start a garden of your own and see if the green thumb will spread throughout your community.

Release no. 17-013