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Hong Kong Flower Show opens today

The Hong Kong Flower Show 2005 opened at Victoria Park today (March 11), with more than 170 organisations taking part and more than 330,000 flowers on display.

The theme of this year's show is "Whisper of Spring" and the theme flower is the rhododendron. The 10-day show, which runs until March 20, features more than 18,000 pots of the theme flower.

The flower show, organised each year by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), is a major event in promoting horticultural activities as it provides a unique opportunity for hundreds of thousands of visitors to learn more about growing and appreciating flowers.

Officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Joseph Wong Wing-ping; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong; the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mrs Selina Chow; the President of Chinese Flower Association, Ms Jiang Ze-hui; Miss Hong Kong 2004, Miss Kate Tsui and the Adviser to the Hong Kong Flower Show 2005, Professor Hu Shiu-ying.

More than 170 organisations from 18 countries will participate in the flower show. These organisations are from Mainland, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Germany, Spain and Switzerland are taking part for the first time.

The theme flower rhododendron comes in a variety of colours -- white, red, pink, peach, purple, yellow and even frilled. The flowering period mainly falls in spring, usually in March and April, and the soil in Hong Kong is favourable to its growth.

Indigenous species in Hong Kong - Mrs Farrer's Rhododendron and Westland's Rhododendron - will also be on display in the flower show.

Fringe activities including music and dance performances, floral art demonstrations, workshops and fun games will be organised during the show for the enjoyment of visitors.

The Hong Kong Flower Show opens from 9am to 9pm from today to March 20. Admission for adults is $14 and children, students, senior citizens and persons with a disability pay half price. Senior citizens and persons with a disability will have free admission on weekdays while adults in a group of 30 or more people will pay half price on weekdays.

Admission tickets will be sold at the showground at Victoria Park throughout the show period. Tickets will also be available at LCSD's Leisure Link outlets.

For enquiries, call 2723 6232, or visit the LCSD website .

Ends/Friday, March 11, 2005
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