Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fargo, ND 'Floriade 2012' Tour Set

By: Darrel Koehler, Grand Forks Herald

There will be gremlins, goblins and perhaps even an occasional witch out on the prowl Monday night as we observe that most American holiday — Halloween. But while everyone else is out trick or treating or having generally a good time, the Prairie Gardener will be cleaning up his files for a five-month break from writing the garden column.
For several years, the column has been discontinued during the winter months — when gardening news is sparse — resuming in April and continuing through the following October. That will be case again this year. However, the Prairie Gardener will check his mail weekly at the Herald and he is in the phone book if you want to call or write during his absence. In April, he will resume the column by promoting Gardening Saturday set for April 14.

Besides ending the column for the winter, the gardening show on KNOX-AM ended late September and it also is expected to resume in mid-April. For 11 years, the Prairie Gardener has fielded garden questions live on air for the station during the growing season.

But we digress, so let’s get back to gardening.

Pumpkins galore
There fortunately were enough pumpkins to go around this year for those wanting them for display or for carving into jack-o’-lanterns. Some of the smaller pumpkins will end up in holiday pies and other baked goods. Other areas of the country weren’t so fortunate due to the deluge Hurricane Irene brought to the northeastern states earlier. Extreme drought elsewhere hurt yield. Locally, the pumpkin crop was a success.

Pumpkins are easy to grow. The Prairie Gardener ended up with enough volunteer plants in his garden to produce a crop without even bothering to plant them. Pumpkins are easier to grow than to classify. At least three different species are called pumpkins, and all can be correctly called squash. Besides classic orange, pumpkins come in green, blue-green and even white.
The four most common types grown include the following: Miniatures are used for centerpieces and indoor decorations. Pie pumpkins make flavorful baked goods, while field types are favored for jack-o’-lanterns. Giants indulge our appetites for real big stuff and these are the kind that make the news due to their huge size.

If you are planning to include pumpkins in your garden next year (youngsters love pumpkins) you can choose from these varieties: Miniatures would include Baby Boo or Jack Be Little. Pie types include New England Pie and Small Sugar. Field types for carving would be Howden or Rocket. And if you are into giants, there is the old favorite Atlantic Giant or Prizewinner.

Floriade set
Gardeners are counting the days before the Floriade, which is a world horticultural exposition, hosted every decade in the Netherlands. The sixth event is scheduled from April through mid-October 2012.

The event includes 165-acres, 100,000 flowers, 30 country exhibitions, wine tastings, cultural shows and region culinary delights.

Ron Smith and wife, Betsey, have joined Judy’s Leisure Tours, Fargo, in assisting with the tour set for June 4-14. For more information including a full day-day itinerary call Judy’s at (800) 598-0851.

Sign up early for a discount.

Fall jobs
The long-term forecast is indicating a warmer than-normal autumn. This is good news for gardeners who still have a myriad of tasks to complete before the first snow arrives. Typically, we get a taste of snow about mid-November with the bigger snowfalls arriving around Thanksgiving or into early December. We may want to be extra careful in winter preparation such as mulching and covering tender plants. The winter predictions call for a wetter and colder winter such as the La Nina event we experienced earlier.

Caution should be used if you are planning to do some late fall pruning. Fruit trees are typically pruned in April following winter. Spring-flowering shrubs should such as lilacs should be pruned right after flowering in the spring. If you prune now, you will remove the flowering buds that are already formed.

Hybrid tea roses, as well other tender roses and some shrub roses, require winter protection if they are to bloom again. If you have expensive roses, you may want to try the Minnesota tip method for protection. Dig a narrow trench on one side of the plant. Tie the canes together, loosen one side of the roots, tip the plant into the trench, cover with soil and mulch.

If that sounds like too much work and you don’t have a lot invested in the roses, you can make a mound a foot or so of soil over the center of the rosebush. Then cover the mound with some mulch and some chicken wire to hold the insulation in place. Plastic foam rose cones also work, however, they do need air hole and close monitoring. Mold can be a problem.

The winter sun and hungry varmints can harm trees, especially young trees with thin bark. Wrap trunks with plastic tree protectors, but be sure to remove as soon as weather warms in spring. If you don’t want to bother wrapping and unwrapping trees, use hardware cloth to form a cylinder several inches larger than the tree trunk. Push several inches into the soil. There are sprays that protect plantings from deer and rabbits, too.

Evergreen shrubs benefit from burlap screens or wrapping.

Thanks go to the many people who have commented on the mini-garden at an intersection on the north end of East Grand Forks. It’s a beautification project where the Prairie Gardner wants to give something back to the community. It will be back in 2012. Farewell until April.

Koehler is the Herald’s garden columnist. Send garden questions to him in care of the Grand Forks Herald, Box 6008, Grand Forks ND 58206-6008. This is the final garden column for the 2011 gardening season. The weekly column resumes in April 2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Floriade/Chelsea Flower Show tour is a sell out!

Insight Vacations has announced that due to popular demand, it has added two extra departures for its exclusive Floriade 2012, Chelsea Flower Show & Springtime in the Alps Tour after its first release and subsequent second departure sold out in record time.
An additional, brand new departure, the 17-day Floriade 2012, Hampton Court Flower Show & Summertime Alps has also been introduced in line with demand. This new tour follows the same successful itinerary, however departs later and takes in the world’s largest flower show at London’s Hampton Court Palace instead of the Chelsea Flower Show. 
Lorraine Sharp, managing director, Insight Vacations said, “Insight Vacations’ 17-day Floriade 2012, Chelsea Flower Show & Springtime in the Alps Tour takes in two of the most famous horticultural events in Europe and Britain however the response to its initial release far exceeded our expectations.
“After this itinerary sold out, we released an additional departure, which also sold quickly. As such, we have now released a third and fourth departure, which will be travelling in reverse to the original itinerary as well as a new tour, the Floriade 2012, Hampton Court Flower Show & Summertime Alps.
“Commencing in Paris, the Floriade 2012, Chelsea Flower Show & Springtime in the Alps Tour is perfectly timed to take advantage of spring’s full bloom and of course the main attractions of Floriade and the Chelsea Flower Show.
“The Floriade World Horticultural Expo, an event so special it is only held once a decade, is held in the town of Venlo. Here, guests will have a full day here to become acquainted with some of the world’s most exquisite flowers, plants, trees, fruits and vegetables. But more than just a flower show, Floriade is a celebration of music, dance, theatre, literature and visual art from around the world.
“The tour will conclude in London, where guests will attend the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show, an event that is famous for bringing together the very best show gardens, flowers and gardening from around the world.
“Highlights in between include travelling along the picturesque trail of the Romantic Road, two leisurely nights in the Bavarian capital of Munich, stunning Bolzano, encircled by the majestic snow-capped Italian Alps, the combination of vivid blue waters and dramatic mountains in the Italian Lake District, the perfectly landscaped Botanical Gardens of Isola Bella and sparkling Paris including a visit to Monet’s Garden, the inspiration behind his famed water lily paintings. 
“The 17-day Floriade 2012, Hampton Palace Flower Show & Summertime in the Alps, follows the same captivating itinerary with the addition of the spectacular Flower Show in the gorgeous grounds of Hampton Court Palace in London in place of the Chelsea Flower Show. The Hampton Palace show combines breathtaking floral displays with presentations and tips on how to grow fruit and vegetables. New for 2012 is the World of Gardens section which will feature 12 gardens celebrating the botanical highlights of different countries.
“If recent results are anything to go by, I recommend travellers get in quick to book their space and avoid disappointment.”
Insight Vacations’ 17-day Floriade 2012, Chelsea Flower Show & Springtime in the Alps Tour is priced from $5569 per person, twin share, land only, (single supplement from $1675). There are two departures on 11 May, 2012 ex Paris.
The 17-day Floriade 2012, Hampton Court Flower Show & Summertime in the Alps is priced from $5769 per person, twin share, land only (single supplement from $1775). This tour departs on 5 July, 2012.
Price includes tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show 2012 (or Hampton Court Flower Show 2012), tickets to the Floriade for 2012, 16 nights in first class hotel accommodation, the services of a professional Tour Director, transport by luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach with extended legroom for added comfort, airport transfers, many meals and much more.
Bookings are available exclusively through travel agents and all Insight bookings attract World Rewards points for World Reward members. For more information see

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Global gardens 2012 Includes Holland's Floriade!

A round-up of the biggest and best garden shows and events
from across the world next year.

Jim Fogarty's winning design at the Nagasaki gardening show
Jim Fogarty's winning design at the Nagasaki gardening show
Singapore Garden Festival (July 7-15) A biennial blockbuster majoring on spectacular orchids and top international designers (
Floriade (April 5-October 7) Held every 10 years in Venlo, Holland. An improving mix of environmental message and traditional commercial horticulture (
Philadelphia International Flower Show (March 4-11) Next year’s theme is Hawaii, the scale is vast and outstanding horticulturists flock here from all over the United States (
Landesgartenschau Nagold (April 27-October 7) The Germans take gardening very seriously and this event is a must-see for anyone interested in new ideas about environmental design (

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recruiting 150 trainees for the 2012 Floriade launch

The recruitment of 150 trainee posts at Floriade 2012 is launched. Floriade 2012 offering 150 MBO and HBO students an internship opportunity. The search for the trainees undertake vocational services with the Floriade. This organization supports the Floriade also supervising the interns.
The majority of trainees will come from the vocational training Tourism, Hospitality, Economy, Trade, AOCs and HBO programs Hotel School, Leisure, Marketing, Communications and Sales throughout the Netherlands. Vocational Services selects the interns and coordinates substantive training supervision.

During an information day on October 12 are 75 educational institutions informed about the internship opportunities at Floriade. The schools will now inform the students. But students from other schools are welcome to apply. The students can for 10 weeks to half year internship at the Floriade, between late March and late October 2012. There are already some functions in the short term to be filled. By far the most features begin at the end of March 2012. All internship vacancies are listed on the site .

Apply for Vocational Services is only possible and can even to 6 November. 1,2,3 and on December 4, students are invited to during the selection day Venlo Floriade. Shortly thereafter be known that 150 students have been selected for an internship at the World Horticultural Expo. Vocational Services in 2010 coached more than 160 students during their internship at the World Expo in Shanghai. MBO and HBO worked there in the Dutch pavilion and filled various positions. At Floriade 2012 will also be the case, the MBO and HBO graduates work in the guest reception, marketing, administration, catering, retail and events. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Special Sightseeing Tours To Floriade 2012

For tourists interested in attending the once-in-a-decade horticultural event - Floriade 2012, Amsterdam City Tours is offering special sightseeing Floriade tours. The tours provider is also popular for its Keukenhof excursions.

Keukenhof toursAMSTERDAM -- The Floriade 2012 is a tourism draw card for the Netherlands and Amsterdam City Tours is offering sightseeing Floriade tours for a unique experience.

Floriade is an international horticultural event held in the Netherlands once every 10 years. It is an exhibition of flowers and gardening, drawing participants from around the world. The 2012 event is scheduled to be held from April through October in the region of Venlo and is a global spectacle drawing thousands of tourists to Netherlands.

"The Netherlands is internationally recognized for its horticultural traditions and achievements and Floriade is definitely the biggest event held here. The variety of flowers and gardening on display is simply amazing and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience we recommend to everyone. To make it easier to plan for Floriade, simply book a tour with us and we'll worry about the details," said Menno Jong of Amsterdam City Tours.

In addition to its Floriade tours, Amsterdam City Tours also provides Keukenhof tours. Keukenhof is an internationally renowned flower garden located in Lisse, a small town southwest of Amsterdam. It is the largest flower garden in the world with an estimated seven million flower bulbs planted ever year.

The park is scheduled to open from late March to May 2012 and Amsterdam City Tours has put together an enjoyableKeukenhof excursion so guests can make the most of the park known as the 'Garden of Europe'.

While the Floriade and Keukenhof tours are seasonal tours, the company also provides several other tours and activities to help visitors explore the Netherlands in a variety of ways. There's something for every tourist with historical tours taking guests through Anne Frank's house and The Hague, while the night tours offer pub crawls or even the chance to experience a walk through Amsterdam's famous red-light district.

"Amsterdam City Tours is your one stop shop as a tourist in Holland. Whether you're headed to Floriade, need a guide for your visit to Keukenhof or simply need a tour of the best clubs in Amsterdam - our tours will ensure you have the best experience. Check out the range of tours on our website and you will definitely find something you'd like to check out while you're holidaying in Amsterdam," said Jong.

All bookings for Floriade and Keukenhof can be made via Amsterdam City Tours' website. The company's user friendly booking system is used by customers from around the world. Credit cards and Paypal are accepted and customers can pay in US dollars, UK pounds or Euro.

About Amsterdam City Tours:A leading provider sightseeing tours in Amsterdam and surrounding cities, Amsterdam City Tours® can provide a private tour in Amsterdam and throughout Holland. Amsterdam City Tours also creates custom tours for visitors seeking a unique experience sightseeing in Amsterdam. The company offers a variety of day trips and Amsterdam tours through its website at

Media Contact:
Menno Jong

Tramplein 8a, 1441 GP Purmerend,
The Netherlands

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Floriade 2012 Opens Villa Flora

Villa Flora was officially opened on October 4, 2011. This building is the flagship of the 2012 Floriade, where arrangers, florists and students will exhibit their art for Floriade visitors.

Floriade flower and plant open house

Villa Flora is the greenest building in the Netherlands, was highlighted during the opening.

Designer Jón Kristinsson- Emeritus professor, inventor and architect - for more than thirty years expert and pioneer when it comes to sustainable building.

Through innovative techniques, Villa Flora does not not require energy but provides it.

Large covered exhibition for the opening was the key to Villa Flora symbolically by the municipality to organize the Floriade handed. In Villa Flora is in a great exhibition of flowers, plants and flower arranging demonstrations.

Organizing already begun within the organizer of the exhibition, green motion , immediately after delivery has begun to organize the space. Anouk van Dijk: "The sink is already there wall, the floor is prepared for planting the tree and the candy comes in a few weeks."

Photo: Villa Flora

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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Trip TypeCompensation
Grand Circle Land VacationNEW! Starting with October 2011 departures: 1 free trip* for 8 paying travelers; the 9th person's trip is free†

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Grand Circle River Cruise1 free trip* for 10 paying travelers; the 11th person's trip is free

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†New and effective with 10/1/11 departures. Prior to 10/1/11, we offer one free trip for 15 paying travelers on these vacations