December 2015: A group of Korean tourists help plant the garden area outside the Royal Free
Emily Banks Ham&High Report
Volunteers digging over the garden ready for planting shrubs and spring bulbs
When campaigner Linda Grove made her appeal for gardeners to help out she hoped that a few local volunteers would show up with spades in hand. What she didn’t expect was a team of Korean holidaymakers to arrive with their gardening gloves at the ready at the site in Pond Street.
The tourists responded after their countryman Kim Minho posted the request for volunteers to help create the garden on a Korean website. One of the group, Hyungjin, was about to visit Spain, but postponed his trip to help out with the planting.
Kim Moonsun, who was a language student in London ten years ago and now visits every year, came to help, along with husband and wife hairdressers Jeon BongKeun and Youn Sunhae.
Kim Moonsun said: “I read about it on the Korean website and wanted to help out. I love London and this seemed like such a great thing to do. “I hope to come back when the flowers are in bloom to see the result of our work.”
Hyundai executive Kim HoJoung and wife Shin Donghwan even brought along two guests who were staying in their house. Shin Donghwan said that she was happy to be of use to society and that gardening was her hobby.
Ms Grove said: “We were so surprised when the Korean tourists arrived. It may seem like a strange thing to do while you are holiday, but they were so happy to help out.”
“Our Korean friends so impressed everyone, the way they got stuck in to plant the daffodil bulbs and at the end, without a word, cleared everything up as a team. Young Sunhae made a Korean lunch for the team.
Ms Grove said: “We hope they all come back to London in the Spring to see a “Host of golden daffodils!’’ Thank you Korea from the residents of NW3 and The Royal Free Hospital!
She and Gospel Oak resident Charlotte Gascoigne wanted to create the garden for visitors, patients and staff as a way of preventing the build up of litter and cigarette buts outside the hospital.
Source: Emily Banks Ham&High