The Floriade 2012

The Floriade is, to put it bluntly, a horticultural wonderland that happens every ten years in the Netherlands.  This time it is in the city of Venlo but the site changes sequentially and cities compete to host the event much like the Olympics.  The size (163 acres) and grandeur is only something that I can compare to Disney’s Epcot center.  Much like Epcot many nations are represented with a country pavilion with horticultural and cultural showcases.  Believe me when I say this is serious business….the construction and plantings are started five years in advance to ensure a mature and mind-blowing display of their bulbs, perennials, grasses, trees and shrubs.  But truly the Floriade is the place for companies and designers to show off their design and innovations in gardening and really for Holland to show off its tail feathers to the rest of the world and prove why they really are one of the world’s horticultural powerhouses.   As a designer myself, the six hours I spent there have given me ideas and inspiration for years.  Inspiration truly came at you from every angle….simply as plant combination, paving and stone pattern, to the prolific use of alloys and cor-ten steel.  This place broadened my spectrum of design and as made it on my calendar ten years from now.  Don’t worry though, you still have time…the show opened in April and runs till October 7- I would book my tickets soon if I were you!

logs used as a walkway

An antique greenhouse was reconstructed and filled with plants.

Cor-ten was a popular medium used throughout the gardens at the Floriade and our trip

A collection of the unique seating options displayed, and a few nice folks that allowed me to take their photo:

Individual trampolines within the walkways

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