Are you a plant lover? More specifically - are you a low maintenance plant lover? You know... the type of person who loves having pretty, green things alive in your apartment... but isn't so great at the keeping them alive part?
Since moving back to Seoul, I've basically turned my studio apartment into a mini greenhouse, and it has made this little hole in the wall feel much more homey... (not to mention the fact that it has also significantly improved the indoor air quality).
Unfortunately, due to my forgetful nature (and frequent weekend getaways), most plants and I have a pretty short lived relationship. Therefore, I have boundless love and the utmost respect for plants of the low maintenance variety - I'm talkin' succulents, air plants, and cacti. I love em... and, so far, the ones brightening up my spot in Seoul seem to love me too.
If you're also a fan of these low maintenance beauties, then you'll definitely share in the excitement I felt when I found out that 1) Plant heaven is a place on Earth... and it's in Ilsan, and 2) you can get plants delivered to your door in Korea.
First things first...
Ilsan Lake Park's Cactus Greenhouse
That's right... A green house filled with my favorite little (and big) green (and red and white and orange) prickly little, self-sustaining friends. For only 1,000 won, you can wander around the greenhouse enjoying these beautiful plants for as long as you'd like... Well, at least 'til closing time.
There's even a little shop where you can purchase a cactus, succulent, or air plant to take home with you. (Sadly, I couldn't take advantage of this part since I'm planning a big move soon and already have more plant babies to find new homes for than I can handle).
For me, a visit to the Cactus Greenhouse was a really cool (and cheap) way to spend our random Wednesday off. It was something different, we were able to see a new part of the city... and I love plants. If cacti and cheap activities aren't really your thing, then travelling 2+ hours round trip to and from Ilsan to look at plants probably isn't for you... but, even if you decide to skip the greenhouse, Ilsan Lake park is still a cool place to spend the day.
These last few shots weren't taken in the Cactus Greenhouse, but you'll find these spots on your way there!
As you can see, the rest of Ilsan Lake Park is pretty cool, too!
Head to Jeongbalsan Station on the orange line (3).
From there, walk out of exit 2 and straight across the pedestrian overpass until you reach the park. To get to the Cactus Greenhouse walk to the right past the Rose Garden (pictured above), cross the two footbridges over the lake, and then turn left. The greenhouse will be on your right!
If you've made it this far, I'm guessing you like, like me, are big on plants...
You may be wondering how I ended up with so many little green plant babies in the first place.
If you're living in Korea currently, you'll find part 2 useful.
Getting plants delivered to your door in Korea
I blame (and praise) G-market for my little greenhouse apartment. I have literally lost count of how many I've acquired in the past few months. Though there are lots of cute mom and pop plant shops scattered throughout the city, it can be difficult to get your new plant babies home if you, like me, rely heavily on public transportation.
Skip the hassle and go plant shopping online instead. In a few business days or less, you can get virtually any plant (or anything really) delivered directly to your door by G-Market... Korea's equivalent to e-bay or Amazon.
Though I was skeptical about purchasing plants without seeing them first, all of my selections from the sellers below arrived quickly and (most importantly) still alive. I highly recommend purchasing through these vendors - (and no, this isn't a sponsored article, just tryin' to share the love with my fellow plant people in Korea).
I spent an entire day scouring the site for the best plant deals, so here they are!
House plants, flowers, herbs, and succulents
NeoFlower - SO many options, and free shipping on purchases over ₩12,000!
Tillandsia - Lots of different sizes and options, with a low ₩3,000 delivery fee...
(...unless you go crazy and spend 100k... then delivery is free).
Larger house plants (with a decorative touch)
E-Green Store - Make sure to select the option for the decorative potting when purchasing - it costs a bit extra!
For more tips on the best places to find low-budget plants
and other trinkets to make your Seoul apartment feel like home,