Slowly but surely spring has hit Canberra, and inevitably, so has Floriade.
In the past, Floriade has been developed alongside set weekly themes. This year, however, the festival has “gone back to everything organically tailored to a garden show”, and just as you would expect from a Canberra-run event, this over-arching theme is rich in ‘innovation’ – ah yes, that ever-pertinent word.
Including the never-before-seen use of 192 planter boxes – trialled last year to see how they would grow – this years festival represents current innovative trends in gardening and landscape design, with planter boxes now making up 1/10th of the overall 1 million total bulbs displayed this year. In a world where the idea of getting a large garden is but a dream, planter boxes are a popular fixture to create garden space on inner city apartment balconies and patios. As Canberra transforms from a country town – wherein which Floriade started – into a booming cultural centre, it’s great to see the festival take this idea and trend into consideration, and transform along with them. Planter boxes sit further apart, are easier to move – “you can drop and drag them wherever you like” – and they grow in the same way as the flowers on site, meaning that there is no hindrance to the overall spectacle. They also allow for even more flowers to be in bloom without having ‘to turn additional soil or dig new physical beds’, thus helping to uphold Floriade’s responsibility to maintain park conservation.
Adapting off feedback from visitors, Floriade has developed classes and workshops that engage visitors. Everything from cooking workshops to floral arrangement classes with local florists, Moxom and Whitney.
The aforementioned events are, however, ticketed, but for free days out look no further than the free yoga hosted by Lululemon on Sundays (BYO mat), and Yoga Enlightenment on Thursdays, which is actually seated yoga, meaning is likely caters for older generations.
Least but not last, if you have a dog, you really do have to attend Floriade’s Dog Day Out on the 15th of October. For just one day dogs of “any shape or size” are allowed to make their way freely (on a leash) through the festival. This will, of course, be accompanied by “dog themed presentations and demonstrations”. Plus, if your dog is especially cute, dress them up in their Sunday best because there are prizes to be won.
Floriade is up there with Questacon as “the thing to do in Canberra”, and despite the few early days of torrential rain, consistently perfect spring weather has since followed. So, if you have a free day somewhere between now and the 19th of October, I urge you to go.