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.