Saturday, 9 February 2008

The Floriade

Gardening to me is quite a personal thing and no different really than how we decorate the inside of our houses. We all use similar plants in different ways and I have found it fantastic to be able to see gardens from around the world through garden blogs. I would like to thank you all for sharing your gardens!

Jim at Art of Gardening has visited many gardens throughout the world and shares his photos and stories on his blog. It is great to be able to see gardens we may never see. I asked him yesterday if he had visited the Floriade. When he said he hadn’t I thought I’d share some photos from my visit with him for a change! Although I'm sure he won't be the only one now interested in this show.

Floriade is an international exhibition of flowers and gardening in The Netherlands. It is held every ten years and the location varies. We went for the second time in 2002 when it was in the region of Haarlemmermeer.

This event runs for six months. We went during July and spread our visit over two days as the area it covers is quite large. It rained on both days but the sun did manage to come out from time to time too. There is always a theme for the show and in 2002 it was The Art of Nature’. I would say without a shadow of doubt this was the best show I have ever been to.

The scale, numbers of plants and planting schemes are what I was blown away by at this show! However, despite this scale it flowed like a garden park. I don’t know if I am quite painting the picture to you as I saw it. All planting schemes could very easily be transferred to our gardens. It was the feel of this garden that I won’t forget. It appealed to me at that time and still would today.

The site was split into different areas and my favourite by far was the lake area. I don’t have a large number of photos as I took lots of video – which I can’t really show successfully here. The area with the hostas and violas (the first photo) I tried to replicate in my own garden – scaled down of course. I also like the blending of the same colour in foliage detail with flower too. Oh… I could ramble on and on but instead I’ll just show a few more photos.

The next Floriade in 2012 will be held in the Venlo area with the theme ‘Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of life’. Now, that sounds to me like a show not to be missed! The terrain chosen for this event also differs from previous years, being located in South-Eastern quarter of the country and not on drained land to the West. Oh... I’m looking forward to my next visit already!

Update Monday 11th February: A comment to this post (thanks Pam) raised the question of what happened to the gardens after the show. I wasn't sure so I emailed a contact from the website for the next Floriade. I had a feeling some bits were being kept and I asked specifically about the lake part that I had enjoyed so much. This morning I was delighted to get this reply from Jan Willem Griep:

"Your post brings back memories! I worked for six years as CFO at Floriade 2002. In 2003 I was resposible for returning the Floriade to the Haarlemmermeer municipality. Today you can still bring a visit to the park and especially the lake part. The part in the middle, Big Spotters Hill can also be visited. The participants have left of course but what remains is still quite nice and free of charge. The pavillion of the Haarlemmeer municipality is still there with a splendid view at the lake, http://www.vorkenmes.nl/ ."

All photos shown above were taken at the Floriade in July 2002.

14 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Wow, what a beautiful tour you've given us. I'd love to see something like that. Is it temporary? I don't quite understand what you mean by calling it a "show" unless it's temporary. If so, how sad that it can't be maintained afterward!

jodi said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS! Let's see...the next one will be in 2012? I shall start saving....

Barbara said...

Great! And next time we all meet at the Floriade in Venlo!!!! Thank you for letting us participate at the last exhibition!

shirl said...

Hi again, Pam, Jodi and Barbara :-)

Pam – It was a fantastic place to walk around. I am not really sure what happens after the show is over - I do believe some parts are kept. I have emailed them to ask and will add their answer to this post :-D

Jodi – It was, it was! I only wish I could share my video :-( Yes, I should start saving now too :-D

Barbara – I’m glad you enjoyed this show! What a great idea to all meet up for the next one :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your pictures are wonderful. I can see why you were so enthralled with the show.

I would love to see the next one. I love the idea of being part of nature's theatre. We are after all part of nature.

shirl said...

Hi again, Lisa :-)

Thank-you! They were a great trip down memory lane too :-D

As I have said already it would be great to share parts of my video but I tried uploading it ages ago. As it was so windy the processing has completely wrecked the moving plants so it is useless to show :-(

Yes, the nature theme is indeed a good one :-D

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Thanks for sharing the photos from your visit. I have always wanted to go to a Floriade, but that's 1 of those things like going to the Olympics. (Kind of an Olympics of gardening.) Maybe someday...like 2022.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Well, dammit, now I have to go!

I also want to check out the floral carpet in Brussels. For as many gardens as I've been to, I feel as though I've not seen enough.

Thanks for sharing your tour of the Floriade. It's now on my hit list.

Jayne said...

What a beautiful place Shirl. I could get lost in there all day long!

A wildlife gardener said...

We visited the Floriade one year. It was in the early years with all the area landscaped but not a lot in bloom. I can see the difference in growth since then from your photos. The array of plants in the large marquees saved the day, however, and I have lots of happy memories of spending a freezing day warming up inside them :)

Your garden bird photos continue to enthrall me, Shirl :)

We participated in the RSBP Garden Birdwatch too. In the hour we saw 2blackbirds, 4 bluetits, 17 carrion crows, 8 chaffinches, 2 coal tits, 2 goldfinches, 3 great tits, and 8 house sparrows.

Later that day, too late for recording purposes, we had two bramblings and two bullfinches, and a sparrowhawk and a buzzard calling overhead(!) the next day...

jodi said...

Me again....congratulations, you've won an award for your blogging excellence. Come by Bloomingwriter and pick it up, with my heartfelt thanks for having gotten to 'know' you across the blogging miles (and ocean!)

shirl said...

Hi again, Mr McGregor’s Daughter, Jim, Jayne, Wildlife Gardener and Jodi :-)

Mr McGregor’s Daughter – You are welcome! Perhaps you may manage one day – I hope so. I’m certain you would love it :-D

Jim – I had a feeling you would say that! I will look forward to your posts of future visits but I really must find time to browse through your past visits :-D

Jayne – It was, it really was! You definitely could :-D

Wildlife Gardener - welcome once again :-) I thought you might have visited this show too. Sorry to hear it perhaps wasn’t at its best – but glad you have happy memories too. Ah… my bird photos are hard to get at the moment as we have a male and female Sparrowhawk scattering the birds on a regular basis. Today I saw the female on the ground with a bird in its claws. It sounds like you had a good count for the Birdwatch although it is always annoying when you miss some birds just after the hour is up or before it starts. I would love to photograph the bramblings and bullfinches in my garden but have seen neither visit. However two weekends ago I was at Edin Botanics and saw a bullfinch and a tree creeper for the first time (see my post Botanical birds). Funny you should mention the buzzard visiting your garden as I keep seeing them (quite a few) on fence posts along a piece of road – I plan to get photos of them at some point but this could take some time :-D

Jodi – Hi again! Gosh, thanks so much for this award – this was quite a surprise and very kind of you! I would like to say that I too have enjoyed getting to know you and look forward to finding out more about you and your garden as the year unfolds :-D

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks for showing all those lovely pics of the Floriade. It's a pity that it is only once every ten years, isn't it? Perhaps we can all meet up at the next one? That's only 4 years to go from now. ;-)

BTW Congratulations on winning the award, well done you!

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda :-)

You are welcome – the photos were a great trip down memory lane for me! I definitely plan to return for the next Floriade so it would be great if some of us could meet up then :-D

Thanks – the award was quite a surprise :-D