Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Combine 'Floriade 2012' with A Day at Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam!

A spring river cruise in the Netherlands is a colorful cruise experience.
The tulips and other bulb flowers are spectacular, and the traditional
Dutch windmills and quaint villages are fascinating and picturesque.
The best place to see a variety of spring bulb flowers in Holland is at
Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam.
I've enjoyed two spring "tulip cruises" on European river vessels. I sailed
on a Tulip Time cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium, sailing on the beautiful
AMAWaterways Amalegro river ship. I also sailed a Dutch journey on the
Viking Europe way back in 2002, the date of the last Floriade, a huge
horticultural show held once every decade in the Netherlands. (Can't believe
it's been TEN years!)

On both tulip cruises, we spent a day at
 Keukenhof, which really gets you in the
mood for spring!
In addition to AMAWaterways and
Viking River Cruises, many other river
cruise lines feature springtime tulip
cruises, including Avalon Waterways,
Grand Circle, Tauck, and Uniworld.

Friday, February 24, 2012

'Floriade 2012' World Horticultural Expo Gets Ready!

2012 is an important year for just about everyone: here in the U.S. it’s an election year; for those adhering to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, 2012 is the end of a “great cycle,” or “doomsday” as some like to call it; and for the Chinese, it is the auspicious Year of the Dragon.

While the above have all received generous media attention, there is one major event coming this year that you probably haven’t heard about unless you’re a devoted horticulturist: Floriade 2012.

In the case that you are a diehard gardener, then you’ve probably been waiting patiently for this horticultural expo that only comes around once every ten years. Well, this is your year! From April 5th to October 7th, Venlo, the Netherlands, will be hosting this massive flower and garden exhibition with the theme “Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of life.”

The Floriade World Horticultural Expo was first held in 1960 and has since taken place roughly every ten years in different locations throughout the Netherlands. Like all expos, Floriade is an opportunity for the Netherlands to showcase their unique contributions to the world. Naturally you’ll see plenty of flowers at the expo, but it also touches on many other aspects of horticultural such as technology and social issues. Those horticulturists also know how to have fun! The six-month-long festival is jam packed with all sorts of entertainment such as musical performances, light shows, and open-air film screenings.
Floriade World Horticultural Expo 2012
Preview of the Floriade Park
The event sprawls over 66 hectares, 40 of which are dedicated show grounds. The exhibits are divided up into five different theme worlds which are separated by wooded areas. This year’s themed areas are: Relax and Heal, Green Engine, Education and Innovation, Environment, and World Stage Show.

Each area is designed to immerse you in the theme, rather than just let you walk passively past booths. For example, the Relax and Heal world has a “spa-like ambience” to enhance the exhibitors’ focus on the relationship between nature and our health. While visiting this theme world, you can stroll along a barefoot path, participate in tea rituals, and sample from a wide variety of healing herbs.
Concept Art by BRC for Floriade World Horticultural Expo 2012
Concept Art for Floriade 2012
While every day is packed with numerous colorful activities, this year’s main feature is the Floriade Harvest Show. This thirty minute show is a combination of music, theatre, dance, and acrobatics presented by a collection of young performers culled from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The show’s material revolves around the theme of “Harvest Time,” which is important in horticulture, but also transcends it and relates to more general cultural traditions.
Concept Art for Floriade World Horticultural Expo 2012
Floriade Concept Art
The architects of the expo haven’t forgot about the many children that will be accompanying their parents to Venlo. Each world includes a playground inspired by its theme. At Environment there will be a play ship with climbing rocks, while over at Green Engine there will be a climbing net for the young ones to scramble across.
Remember, this event only comes around once a decade, so if horticulture is your thing, put Venlo on this summer’s destination list.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Four Candidates Nominated for Floriade 2022

The Dutch Horticultural Council (NTR) has selected four sites that may compete for the Floriade 2022: Almere, Boskoop Region, Amsterdam and Groningen. 

The four selected candidates may present a bid book to the NTR that contains all the plans of the world horticultural exhibition as seen in 2022 in mind.Applicants are asked to submit their detailed offers by July 1 at the Dutch Horticultural Council to deliver, then the selection  committee will evaluate the plans.

The NTR is during the closing ceremony of the Floriade 2012 in Venlo early October, known where the seventh edition of the Floriade 2022 will take place.