A World In Bloom

19 April 2015

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Winter in Australia is starting to brew.

Peonies are pink,

Petunias are white,

But these northern flower festivals are looking quite bright!

.........................................................................................................................................................

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom from 19-23 May

 A florist puts the finishes touches on a giant installation (credit: RHS Chelsea Flower Show)

The countdown is on for the show that attracts 157,000 horticultural and floristry enthusiasts each year. New trends in gardening and 'budding' floral artists are showcased at the iconic RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. Just think of it like fashion week for the floral world.

Fun facts

  • The Great Pavilion is roughly 1.2 hectares or enough to park 500 London buses
  • The show has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913 (except during the two World Wars)

.........................................................................................................................................................

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom from 30 June – 5 July

 Just one of the many gardens to amble through (credit: RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show)

Also in London, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Themed events like silver anniversary floristry and historic gardens commemorate the occasion, while the UK's best nurseries fill tents with plenty of flower power. For a bloomin' good time, don't miss the Rose Marquee.

Fun facts

  • It takes three weeks to build a show garden but just three days to dismantle it
  • 14,274 glasses of Pimms and 15,029 rounds of sandwiches are consumed during show week

.........................................................................................................................................................

Spello's Infiorate

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom on the third Sunday of May

 A tapestry made entirely out of petals (credit: Spello's Infiorate)

On the third Sunday in May, the streets of Spello, a small town in Umbria, are blanketed in intricate religious themed flower petal carpets (infiorata) to celebrate the Corpus Domini feast. Though it takes the work of thousands of people throughout the year planning, picking and preparing the blooms, the floral trails have a life span of just 48-hours.

Fun facts

  • The minimum length for each infiorata must be 12 metres long or cover a surface area of at least 24 square metres
  • The flowers must have been collected in the wild

.........................................................................................................................................................

Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom until 11 May for spring, but also sprouts up during Chinese New Year, summer, autumn and winter

 Just one part of the Bellagio's springtime garden (credit: Bellagio Hotel)

What other hotel can count 120 gardeners on its payroll? And that's not including the florists, designers and engineers behind the scenes. Set beneath a 55-foot glass atrium, the Bellagio's arrangements put standard hotel lobby flowers to absolute shame.

So impressive is the floral display in Vegas that at least 5 million visitors visit each year just to stroll through the gardens.

Fun facts

  • More than 10,000 potted flowers are hand-watered and switched out every two weeks
  • 90 per cent of the conservatory is recycled with all wilted flowers converted to mulch

 Check out other top spots for seeing spring blooms


.........................................................................................................................................................

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom until 17 May

Horticulture has never looked so good than at the annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Sprouting again in 2015, this springtime event flourishes with magical gardens, exhibits and topiary displays of popular Disney scenes and characters. No surprises here – the latest addition is a Frozen-inspired garden.

Fun facts

  • 30 million blooms blanket the park during the 75-day festival
  • It takes 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists to install the natural landscape

.........................................................................................................................................................

Batalla de Flores, Valencia

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom on 27 July

Batalla de Flores (the battle of flowers) is the final act of the Feria de Julio festival in Valencia. Floral floats parade through the city and once they've completed a few rounds, the fun really begins. Crates of flower heads line the streets ready for onlookers to pelt at the parade crews and falleras (costumed women) atop the float. More beautiful and much less messy than La Tomatina, Batalla de Flores gives new meaning to the term 'flower bombing'.

Fun fact

  • The costumed ladies that sit atop the structures are equipped with tennis racquets to defend the flower attacks

.........................................................................................................................................................

Corso Zundert

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom on the first Sunday of September

 50 shades of dahlias (credit: Corso Zundert)

What was once a small procession of decorated bicycles in the Dutch town of Zundert has evolved into the world's largest flower parade. Populations of entire villages volunteer their time – from constructing the floats to pinning the flowers – to create these larger-than-life animatronics covered in dahlias.

Fun facts

  • Up to 500,000 flowers are used in each float
  • 600,000 bulbs of 50 species of dahlias are planted just for the parade
  • Zundert is the hometown of Vincent van Gogh

.........................................................................................................................................................

Brussels' Flower Carpet

.........................................................................................................................................................
In bloom 12-15 August 2016

Unlike other flower festivals, the Brussels' Flower Carpet is unique in that it only appears every second year. Perhaps it's got something to do with the time it takes to not only assemble, but to plan this spectacular work of art.

Every other summer however, flower lovers can get their floral fix where the Town Hall of Brussels is transformed into a spectacular garden adorned in colourful, cutting-edge floral arrangements. This year's event takes place on the 13-16 August.

Fun facts

  • Almost one million begonia flowers are used for the carpet
  • It takes 120 volunteers just under four hours to install the carpet, but over a year to plan the design

.........................................................................................................................................................

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more travel advice and the latest travel deals.

.........................................................................................................................................................

Anna Howard

Give me street food over Michelin stars, cellar doors over wine bars and small towns and wide open spaces over big cities any day. Travel for me means ticking off the 'to eat and drink' list one regional flavour and wine bottle at a time.