Taipei, May 22 (CNA) The quality of Taiwan's orchids earned a gold medal in the Great Pavilion Award at the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show in London Tuesday, the second consecutive year in which the country has received the honor.
Taiwan's representative to the U.K., Shen Lyu-shun, said the flower show is an important event for Taiwan to enhance its international image and promote its soft power.
Shen added that the organizer -- the U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) -- arranged for the Taiwan exhibit this year to be at the center of the venue.
Stephen Bennett, RHS director of shows, said the honor was "richly deserved."
"We are delighted about this lovely exhibit of orchids from Taiwan and we are very pleased it's won a gold," Bennett said. "Just a fabulous exhibit," he added.
"This is the world's most prestigious flower show. The (exhibit of) orchids from Taiwan is attracting a lot of attention because the quality of the orchids is superb," he went on.
He added that Queen Elizabeth II and members of the royal family also visited the show and said that "they appreciated this exhibit of orchids from Taiwan."
The orchid arrangement includes an orchid "tree" and a golden dragon surrounded by thousands of fresh orchids. The display is also decorated by several sky lanterns wrapped in Hakka-style cotton print fabric.
The exhibit was created with 20,000 fresh premium orchids of 50 different species, all of which were transported from Taiwan by air, according to its creator, the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association.
This is the third year Taiwan has had an orchid display at the show. It has also been officially invited to take part in the centennial celebration of the flower show scheduled for next year.
The flower show, which had its formal opening that day and runs through May 26, will be attended by more than 500 groups from countries including Taiwan, Thailand, Slovenia, Japan, Australia, France, Holland and Jamaica.
It is expected to attract 160,000 visitors this year, and tickets to the show are already sold out.
(By Jennifer Huang and Jamie Wang)