The Canberra Floriade is a spring spectacular in the Nation’s capital that starts in mid September and runs through to mid October each year. The images here were taken in 2010, and living in Canberra for 4 years meant I saw some wonderful displays over that time. The name Floriade derives from the Latin word ‘floreat’ which means “may it flourish or bloom”.
Canberra Floriade is the largest floral festival in the southern hemisphere and began in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday. Canberra Floriade is held in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park alongside Lake Burley Griffin.
Over a million blooms are cultivated, creating an amazing backdrop for this 30 day festival. Almost half a million people each year visit to enjoy the music, cultural celebrations, horticultural workshops, artistic displays, entertainment and recreational activities. If you have a family this means there is plenty to keep them occupied while you take in and wander the flower adorned paths of Canberra Floriade.
These days the Canberra Floriade NightFest means activities continue in Commonwealth Park after dark. The evenings feature live music acts, well-known comedians, funky DJs, night markets and roving entertainment.
Planning and preparation of the one million plants begins in February/March and about 25 gardeners work to mark out the garden bed patterns and dig out all the pathways. The first bulbs for Canberra Floriade are planted in early April, starting in the coldest area of the park and plantings are complete by the end of May. You will often see Tulips, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Grape Hyacinth, Tritelia, Pansies, Violas, English Daisies, Poppies and Chrysanthemums. The gardeners use parsley and kale to achieve the deep contrasting colours, texture and green coverage across the beds.
The greater Canberra region has more to offer for food and wine lovers. Wineries are mall enough to have an intimate cellar door experience and meet the winemakers, although large enough to find all the varieties of a good wine growing area. You can check out Canberra Floriade web site for the theme in each year and what is happening and see for yourself.