31 July 2012

Heavy Plant Posting

You've heard of "Heavy Plant Crossing" here's a plant heavy post! This will be the last of our Floriade photos, but I feel that I have to share these with you.  One of the big glasshouses, the Villa Flora Stage, which houses collections of indoor plants.  Here there were arrangements of Kalanchoe (Flaming Katy), Cockscomb (Celosia) and other plants as well as orchids - lots of varieties of orchids.

This was a view from the cable car of the Villa Flora, the giant glasshouse.
All the lovely colours of Flaming Katy plants (liked the pots on the display too)

The Cockscomb plants with a close up.  I really liked the "frills" on this one.
Cyclamens in boxes
 A greenhouse inside a greenhouse!
This orchid is an air plant - no soil - just aerial roots.

Some orchids were arranged in groups like the one above or in pots from columns

There was also a "tunnel" that had individual plants that were showcased, here's just a few

David took a photo of me with an orchid "dress"

In the Villa Flora there's a mezzanine floor with exhibits from other countries and this photo is one from Japan made from Hydrangea flowers, isn't it lovely?

I took this next photo from the park and ride bus leaving the Floriade - this was on the side wall of a distribution centre of a shopping bag being held by a pin tack
I could have shown a load more photos but I think what I've posted the last few times I hope give a flavour of the Floriade Expo. It did take us the whole two days to get around the event and we were lucky enough that the only rain shower we'd encountered was while we were in a building.  Considering how rainy it was when going to Holland and coming back to the UK from there we did well with the weather.
Last week we spent our second holiday week "at home" and had one of the warmest weeks of the summer so far.  I even managed to get some sewing done so I'll show that soon.

28 July 2012

And There's More....

A bit of time this evening to post some more Floriade photos.  The second area we visited was the Relaxation and Healing area where we walked through woodland from the Education area and found the Willowman.  This was a working art area where circles of willow had items attached to them, like leaves or feathers and a tag with a message on made by some of the people who visited it (a bit like dreamcatchers) and hung them onto the willow structure in the woods.  A bit way out but fascinating nonetheless.  Below are some photos that I took of this

 The photo below shows some clothing, like denim jeans with the bottoms of the legs knotted then plants were planted in the trousers legs, very odd.
After this area we went to see this garden with these strange looking creatures

And in the middle was this lovely sculpture made by an artist from Tegelen, near Venlo.

Then across from this was a dragon

It did breathe fire every so often but David just wasn't able to take a photo of it doing that!

Next was a trip from one side of the Floriade to the other on a Gondola or cable car.  It was amazing to see the sights from the air.  So we ended on another section of the expo called the World Show Stage. This was an area that had displays from different countries from the middle East to Africa, most of Europe to Indonesia.  Because of the number of visitors taking advantage of the nice weather these displays were quite crowded.
The Chinese garden was a favourite with us as we had memories of visiting a Chinese garden in Vancouver back in 2005, which we really enjoyed and this one was just the same.  We took a photo of ourselves just to prove we were here! (Not very flattering really)

Some lovely plates outside the Tunisian exhibition

Two of the raised flower displays in the Bulgarian exhibit

This was an unusual flower container, I think it was from one of the South American exhibits.

Then we saw three women on stilts dressed as birds, which was really strange.  It was getting quite late in the day so headed back but not before we saw this.  It looked like the plants had taken over the kitchen
Not much chance to getting any dinner there!
Don't even think about sitting at the table to eat either!

And the plants are even growing up the side of the wall
These two posts are just day one at the Floriade. There's more to come.

Floriade Expo

This second week of our holiday has disappeared in a whizz and I can't believe I'll be back at work on Monday.  I had hoped to have blogged about our time in Holland at the Floriade (a World Horticultural Expo) before now, so no time like the present.

David and I decided to buy tickets for two days before our trip and after our day in Maastricht, when the weather really perked up decided that Wednesday and Thursday would be good days to go.  Wednesday in particular was to be the driest and it was certainly the busiest.  The traffic, though busy kept moving and directions in the car park were well organised.  The park and ride bus service was caught out by the number of people but very soon extra buses came along and people were soon transported to the venue.

Venlo itself is in an area important for produce growing and the trade of fruit, vegetables and plants that we would normally see in our supermarkets or garden centres.  The Floriade site is very big and had four main areas and it took us both days to explore. Just passed the entrance people were greeting with a giant pair of wellie boots

 And that wasn't the only giant footwear there.  As you would expect in Holland there are clogs too
David could not resist taking a photo of a cow
She needed sunglasses as it was a sunny day!  There are some orange clogs on a display next to her - they're slippers!

This is what we'd come to see

Yes, there is a trampoline in this garden - there were two inset in garden and David took a photo of me on one, clearly I could not resist having a go.

Above are the European gardens.

We visited the education area which explained about methods of producing the fruit and veg that we eat and how science is leading to improving the quality of the produce, but there were some bizarre displays, like this Dutch "egg" shape

And in another building nearby were some clothes with fabric printed with pictures of produce
Found a Mini (proper old one) covered in grass
And some buildings with plant covered roofs

Perhaps its the quilter in me that liked taking mosaics, like in this Isreali garden.  The floor mosaics were reproductions of ones found in an ancient synagogue

And of course there were lots of flower photos

I'm just scraping the surface here, there'll be more photos soon