Floriade goes green in a BIG way

Whether you are tip-toeing through the tulips or buying bulbs by the bushel, the Netherlands is the place to go for flowers and more. The country sells 3/4 of the world’s flower bulbs, is No. 1 in greenhouse horticulture and it’s the leading global exporter of cut flowers. 

Now imagine all that and more, much more — and you’ll have some idea of what Floriade Expo 2022 is like. 

Every 10 years, the world, yes — the world, celebrates all things flora and fauna with a fabulous international horticulture exhibition that runs from April to October. This year’s festival is in Almere which is a stone’s throw from Amsterdam. Your travel advisors at GetAway Travel are ready to help plan your trip to Holland and this epic exhibition. 

 Floriade started in 1960 

 Every 10 years, Floriade is held in the flower trading capital of Europe. The pandemic delayed the 2020 exhibition until 2022, but countries continued to work on their show contributions and attendees this year will see some spectacular exhibitions that benefitted from two extra years of work. 

The show has been held in Amsterdam and the Hague among other locations, but this year’s location, Almere, is fitting considering the theme. The main expo theme is “Growing Green Cities,” and the reason why it fits the area, is because Almere was reclaimed from the sea. 

Once the expo ends in October, the expo site will be renamed Hortus, which means “garden” in Latin. The nearly 150-acre site will be turned into a residential neighborhood with 300 eco homes and the pavilions that countries built for their exhibitions will be used by the neighborhood. 

The site has its own electric train system to take visitors around and it also has its own aerial cable system.  

 It’s not just a giant flower show 

 The more than 3,000 trees, shrubs, creepers, perennials, flower bulbs and hydrophytes have been chose for their special qualities on how they can contribute to greener urban spaces, biodiversity, air purification, food production and city climate management. They fit the four sub-themes of: Greening the city, Feeding the city, Healthying the city and Energizing the city. 

The 40 participating countries built their own pavilions and landscapes as a way to house their exhibits as well as showcase their horticultural technology in a controlled environment. 

The individual countries demonstrate new technologies, future products, solutions for making urban life more “green,” different food supplies and horticulture that helps with energy use or savings and how “green” products will help keep you, cities and the climate healthy. 

There are competitions that run throughout the six-month Floriade expo. They are set up to replicate how plants would change through the seasons because the controlled environments will have “seasonal” changes! The competitions range from “crop plants” to house plants, patio plants, bonsai and exotics such as orchids. Some have compared the competitions at Floriade to the Olympics of horticulture. 

If you are interested in plants, climate change, technology, urban planning and the environment, Floriade is your opportunity to totally “geek” out with others who have those same interests. 

During the expo run, there is live entertainment from jazz bands to orchestras. And you won’t go hungry. There are food trucks, food stalls, fast food restaurants, sit-down restaurants with seasonal fare and, yes — plant-based meals. 

 A sample of the countries participating and their exhibits 

 The Netherlands, as you might expect, has the largest exhibit area with a hypermodern greenhouse where you can trace the life of a plant from a seed to your table, if you wish. But there are flowers, roses, trees, shrubs, and dozens of exhibits of sustainable gardening and living.

Taste edible flowers in Belgium’s expo area, see a Chinese bamboo garden and experience Chinese landscape architecture in that country’s pavilion. China has the largest international garden with peonies, hibiscus and chrysanthemums. And their garden has cultural exhibits including calligraphy and fine art. Cyprus’s pavilion shows how a barren landscape can become a park and France and Germany’s exhibition halls showcase modern horticulture. At the German pavilion, you can get a “smart” bracelet which lets you participate in interactive exhibits. India’s exhibit area helps you explore the spiritual aspects of the garden experience and Thailand’s area has a huge garden with water lilies, curcuma and ornamental plants as well as a children’s playground amongst a vegetable and herb garden. Explore the connection between garden, farmland, forest and city in the Japanese pavilion and the Qatar and United Arab Emirates pavilions display plants that can thrive under their countries’ extreme conditions. 

 GetAway Travel can plan your trip to the Netherlands for your Floriade experience and we can also help you extend your trip to Amsterdam.

Many of our River Cruise partners have new itineraries that include a visit to Floriade – please call for details.

We can be reached at:  (262) 538-2140, e-mail: sue@getaway.travel 

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