The 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo is open in South Korea

Suncheonman International Horticultural Expo 2023 Globe

Suncheonman International Horticultural Expo 2023 Globe. Photo: Futakami Atsushi.

AIPH approved 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo gets the green light from South Korea’s President and welcomes 150,000 visitors on its first day, with its theme ‘We Live In The Garden’.

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) was in attendance for the opening of the 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo in the Republic of South Korea. President Yoon Suk-yeol and First Lady Kim Keon-hee attended the pre-opening ceremony on Friday, 31 March.

‘We Live In The Garden’ is the International Horticultural Expo’s theme, and the city’s ambition is to celebrate garden culture and promote climate change actions for six months during this International Horticultural Expo.

Addressing the audience, President Yoon said: “Suncheon Bay is where nature and culture are in harmony; you can feel the warmth of spring. A garden is a work of culture and art that utilises nature and, at the same time, it is a resting place where citizens can enjoy a healthy daily life.”

This second edition of the Suncheonman Garden Expo builds upon the National Garden legacy of the 2013 Expo. During the ten years, this site has become an ecological tourist attraction. Now, the 2023 Expo Park builds on this good work. It is twice as big, spanning an area of 193 hectares.

In his congratulatory speech, the governor of Jeollanam-do Province, Kim-Young-rok, explained: “This Expo is a garden that naturally enters the city. We are showing the blueprint of the future where the carbon-neutral society is realised in response to climate change.”

Along with local leaders, AIPH President Leonardo Capitanio and Secretary General Tim Briercliffe cut the ribbon for this Category B AIPH-Approved International Horticultural Expo’s official opening on 1 April, welcoming 150,000 visitors to experience the Expo’s celebration of green plants and colourful flowers.

In his speech, Mr Capitanio said: “It is clear to see how your city has transformed into a living example of a Green City. Not only have you put your efforts into restoring and creating beautiful wetland habitats, but you have made horticulture and gardening a core feature of life for every citizen of Suncheon. This means you have every right to run this Expo with the theme of ‘We Live In The Garden’.”


The Expo site boasts more than 2.5 million plants from 120 newly planted or existing flower species. Participating countries will showcase their gardens and hold cultural and traditional performances during National Day events.

In the days leading up to the Expo’s opening, an international AIPH jury judged the participating gardens not just for the planting schemes but whether they were delivering the Expo’s future-focused message.

AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe, commented: “The gardens at this Expo will inspire everyone to re-think where and how they live and how living in the garden is something that can be good for all. He added: “With 150,000 visitors on the Expo’s first day, they are well on track to meet their target of 8 million visitors.”

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