The Floriade--A Travelogue
By Timothy Reed May 21st, 2012 @ 1:28 pm
What is Floriade? No, it’s not a new flavor of Gatorade with a unique Florida twist; it’s a flower show….kind of.
“The Floriade is a world horticultural expo organized in the Netherlands every 10 years. Floriade will acquaint you with more than 100 gardens and pavilions with unique flowers and plants from all around the world.” It is done in the style of the World Expo with different countries, corporations and civic groups providing pavilions that feature plants, products or ideas chosen to showcase something in the horticultural world. Some of the pavilions are works of art, some showcase brilliant ideas and some just make you scratch your head and say “huh?”.
Since this event is held only once every 10 years planning ahead is a must because it is a very popular event. We thought that by going a bit early in the season we would miss the crush of the summer vacationing hordes and we were partially right. There was also the advantage of being able to score a delightful hotel with very modest, off season prices. What was the downside of attending early? I am almost ashamed to admit that I did not do my research of what planting zone The Netherlands occupy, because we found out, to my chagrin, that it is still very early spring in the Netherlands in late April, early May. The trees were just budding and most of the flowers that I was so excited to see were still dormant. Doh! Nevertheless, it was a fantastic 2 days in the Netherlands and even with many of the plants still dormant, the tulips were in their full glory and the pavilions were ready, still shiny and new.
“The Floriade park is 66 hectares (135 acres) in size and consists of 5 unique themed worlds, Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment, and World Show Stage, separated from one another by woods. Each world has its own decor, program and activities.” Throughout the park there are activities … movies, music and parades that change periodically to keep you entertained and to keep the kids from completely dying of boredom. The World Showcase has pavilions highlighting goods and services from many nations, and has the World Show Stage which this month features a music and dance show from Togo in west Africa.
If you are travelling in northern Europe this summer I highly recommend spending a couple of days in Venlo, The Netherlands to stroll amongst the park and be educated … be entertained … be enlightened with whimsy and science and for goodness sake, take time to stop and smell the flowers.
The Floriade continues through October 7 and will not return until the year 2022. If you would like more information visit http://www.floriade.com/ or contact me at email@example.com