Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring

Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, poppies, red poppies

One of the things I love about living in South Korea is that there is a true spring—not the straight from frigid winter to summer with a brief fall and back again we’re used to in the northeast in the States.

The first sign of spring in Seoul is the cherry blossoms (though it could be argued that it’s the drop in air quality—this spring brought the worst air quality we’ve experienced in Seoul to date). Last year, the cherry blossoms bloomed the first week of April. This year, they bloomed as early as the beginning of March and through to April. We have plenty of posts on those, so feel free to peruse them below:

Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, azaleas, hot pink azaleas
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, azaleas, hot pink azaleas

With the cherry blossoms bloom plum blossoms (my preference), little white buds, and yellow star-shaped forsythia. And as the cherry blossom petals make their way to the ground, the azaleas pop up in vibrant pinks, reds, purples, and white. With them come the lilacs, though they don’t stick around as long. You’ll realize they’ve arrived when you smell their scent wafting. Did you know that there are pink lilacs? Seoul has all of them—purple, white, and pink. The tulips also arrive at this time in all sorts of shades.

Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, lilacs, white lilacs
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, lilacs, purple lilacs
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, lilacs, purple lilacs
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, white flowering tree
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, azaleas, purple azaleas
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, azaleas, white azaleas
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, azaleas, white azaleas
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, chionanthus retusus, fringetree, olive tree

At the end of April and into the start of May, you’ll think you smell jasmine but have no idea where it’s coming from. Overnight, the trees will flower and you’ll learn that they are 이팝나무 or chionanthus retusus, the fringetree, a cousin of jasmine in the oleaceae or olive tree family. The fragrant white flowers stick around for several weeks before the trees turn green again.

Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, chionanthus retusus, fringetree, olive tree
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, chionanthus retusus, fringetree, olive tree
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, white flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, white flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, yellow flowers, flower field
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers

In between all these are other blooms that I haven’t yet learned the names of. Trees with different white blooms, deep reddish purple bulbs, more pink and yellow and orange flowers. The yellow flower fields along the Hangang (Han River) that made me gasp and that we’ve frolicked through for two springs now.

If you pay attention, you can find neon red poppies, red clovers, and blue, purple, and other wildflowers.

Then come the roses.

Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flower
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, orange flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, roses, red roses
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flower
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flower
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, roses, pink roses
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, red flower
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, pink flowers, pink rose
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, orange flowers, red flowers
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, poppy, red poppy
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, poppy, red poppy
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, roses, white roses
Following the Flowers in Seoul in Spring | On the Street Where We Live ( aretherelilactrees.com )  flowers, blooms, spring, Seoul, South Korea, roses, white roses

They’ve started to bloom within the past week, maybe even the past few days. I’ve been told that these stick around a while though. And so, these are the flowers that transition us to summer.

When there are even more to follow.

where to follow the flowers

Any park, garden, or forest. We’ve loved Haneul (Sky) Park, Olympic Park, and Seoul Forest, and we’re planning to visit Seoul Grand Park for the roses.

Along the water. Every park along the Hangang has wide fields and small gardens of flowers. The first time we ever saw the cherry blossoms was along a stream (the Yangjaecheon). The most popular stream is the Cheonggyecheon, but there’s a stream in most pockets of Seoul.

Outside of Seoul (see 1, 2). The most beautiful flower photos I’ve seen in South Korea are in the countryside. If we end up sticking around another year, I’d love to spend the seasons speeding south on the KTX.

Really though, the quietest way (and therefore the best, in my opinion) to follow the flowers is to get lost in small neighborhoods. You could spend a whole morning or afternoon in this way and never stop finding something new.