Growing Flamingo Lilies in Neimen Li Ji-lai's "True Beauty Garden"
Li Ji-lai's True Beauty Garden is an enormous 5 hectare field of colorful anthodium flowers known as flamingo lilies or flaming cranes. Located in Neiman, the flower exhibits more than thirty vibrant shades, creating a stunning, fantasy world. With more than 30 hectares of anthodium fields, Neimen is at the heart of Taiwan's flower farming district.
Mr. Li spent 15 years farming guava and lemon, but his true passion was flowers. He then began to study the growth cycle and economic value of the flamingo lily. In 1998, he began farming them exclusively. He was one of the first flamingo lily farmers in Neimen District. Mr. Li was born with a passion for flowers. As a child he would use his allowance to buy as many flowers as he could, spending all his free time tending to them. Soon a beautiful garden emerged around his family home. He treats every flower like his own kids, and he could easily distinguish each one of them.
The secret to growing flamingo lilies includes sunlight, water and nutrients. It takes a great deal of experience to find the perfect balance. He believes Fantasia is the queen of flamingo lilies due to the fact the colors change as they grow. They are also unique because their patterns and colorful blending of each flower. The Fantasia flower is quite difficult to grow, however Neimen's farmers have invested in technology and growing techniques that produce great quantities of the flower. Environmental and temperature controls are the key to producing good Fantasia. By mastering the skills to growing good Fantasia, other specimens have proven not to be such a huge challenge.
Mr. Li's garden produces approximately one million flamingo lilies a year, 50% are exported to Japan and 0.1% to the United States. The rest are sold to wholesale markets in Taiwan. Japan's recent earthquake has caused a 20-30% drop in sales and market price. This has forced Mr. Li to change strategy, directing more flowers to the domestic market. Mr. Li hopes the government will assist farmers in accessing alternative sales channels.
Recently, Mr. Li has developed an interest in agricultural tourism. He is putting a lot of his ideas into practice. His vision is to create a scenic flower farm, offering a relaxing country atmosphere, gourmet food and flower arrangement demonstrations. He is currently looking for a suitable location that will allow him to fulfill this dream. He is also planning on filing a patent for True Beauty Garden's flamingo lilies. Mr. Li works for more than 10 hours a day, but says it doesn't feel like work because it is his passion. On top of the demanding farm work, he also enjoys leading tours around the garden. Fueled by an unparalleled passion for his flowers, Mr. Li continues to get closer to realizing his dream.
- Source: 大東藝術圖書館
- Date: 2012-01-09