RHS delegation unharmed by earthquake during Taiwan visit

A team from the RHS was shaken but unharmed by a major earthquake that hit the island of Taiwan last week.

The delegation was visiting Taipei to organise an exhibit of orchids for this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and to choose a contractor to build a British garden for the Taipei International Flower Expo, when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck.

It caused several injuries and disrupted the nation's water and power supplies, but the RHS team, consisting of shows director Stephen Bennett, designer and landscaper Michael Balston and garden writer Simon Garbutt, were unharmed.

This is the first year Taiwan has exhibited at Chelsea and the display, designed by Onely Flowers Emily Chen, will be on view in the Grand Pavillion.

The orchids for the Taiwan stand - maily Phalaenopsis cultivars - will be supplied by Glorchid, the UK branch of V-Flora, owned by global exporter, Taiwan Flora Seed International.

Taipei International Floral Expo takes places 6 November 2010 - 6 April 2011 and covers around 90 ha of the city's parks.

The RHS is organising a science-themed British garden, part funded by the Taipei City Government, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Royal Society.

Designed by Wiltshire -based landscape designer Michael Balston, the British garden will feature a 2.6m double helix as its centrepiece.

It will provide a showcase for British horticultural excellence and plant breeding.

The RHS is seeking business sponsors with links to Taiwan to help fund the UK display garden.


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