Flower art at Floriade, Canberra

Every year Canberra’s Commonwealth Park becomes a botanical wonderland when it hosts an incredible floral display called Floriade. The month-long event displays an incredible number of blooms, arranged in artistic displays across numerous flowerbeds. A wander through Floriade is not to be missed if you time your trip to Canberra right. It’s a rare person that worries about being in the presence of flowers but, I must admit, it was with a sense of trepidation that this chronic hayfever sufferer headed to Floriade, I needn’t have worried though. The flowers were mostly ‘blooms’ rather than ‘blossoms’ and, dosed up to the eyeballs with some strong hayfever medication, I was fine.

Art among the flowers

Each year the dedicated team of volunteers arrange the displays according to a theme. For Floriade 2014 the theme was ‘passion’ and several such as passions for music, nature, music, fashion, art, cultures and food were represented in the garden beds. The flowers are planted in colour blocks so that images can be made out. Some of the designs you can make out fairly easily walking through. However, for more of a birds’ eye view a trip in nearby ferris wheel should do the trick.

Flower display, Floriade, Canberra, Australia

Throughout the month that Floriade is held (mid September to mid October) the festival boasts several events. There is a clear focus on food, the outdoors, environmental and wildlife activism. There are also lots of children’s activities on offer like gardening and craft workshops. Celebrities make appearances to share gardening tips and exhibits. Citizenship ceremonies even take place among all the colour and excitement. The show also goes on after dark for a few nights each year called ‘Nightfest’, where the displays are illuminated and the park comes alive with music, comedy performances and roving entertainers.

Flower display, Floriade, Canberra, Australia

To get the most from your visit, make sure you get a program when you arrive so that you understand the theme and can identify some of the more obscure flowerbed displays. Don’t forget to check out the market-style vendors that attend, selling handmade, unique products, and food too. But best of all, feast your eyes on all the incredible flowers and imagine how much work the volunteers put into preparing what is only ever a temporary display. Wow! Then, if you’re like me, go home and have a nap because the hayfever medicine has truly kicked in!

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