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Laos' first botanic garden opening soon

18 August 2016

Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is opening to the public on November 1st 2016. Founded by curator and publisher, Rik Gadella, Pha Tad Ke is located in Luang Prabang and is the first garden of its kind in Laos.  It has taken seven years of developing botanical collections, scientific research, landscaping, and employee capacity building to create this intimate botanical garden with a deep focus on ethno-botany.

Showing the Flora of Laos, a verdant oasis of gingers, orchids, ferns, bamboos, and palms is clustered around the base of the stunning rocky Pha Tad Ke cliff looming over the Mekong River. So peaceful that it could be deep in the wilds of Lao, it is only 15 minutes on the Pha Tad Ke boat from our downtown reception in World-heritage listed Luang Prabang, with its picturesque temples and colourful markets.

Planting the ethno-botany garden

The centrepiece of Pha Tad Ke is a series of ethno-botanic gardens. Focusing on the relationship between Lao people and their plants, these gardens showcase plants used in medicine, handicraft, spiritual ceremonies as well as medicinal plants for elephants. The potential of this collection, much of which is yet unstudied, is immense. Although the traditional knowledge of the ethnic minorities about the plants in rural Laos is extensive, it is passed down orally, making it vulnerable to the pressures of development and very much in need of conservation and further in-depth study.

In collaboration with international botanical partner gardens such as the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden in Chiang Mai, the Singapore Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, solid inroads into research, education and conservation programs have been made. With the opening to the public of the first phase of the gardens this November, Pha Tad Ke will offer the public a great opportunity to learn more about the vital importance of biodiversity and ecological conservation in Laos.

For more information on the Pha-Tad-Ke Botanical Gardens or if you are interested in joining us for our grand opening celebrations, please visit our website at www.Pha-Tad-Ke.com or email us at contact@pha-tad-ke.com. For additional reading, enjoy Suzy Young’s recent article in the Garden Drum here.

 

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