The international horticultural exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 will be a feast of flowers and all things green and natural. With so much to see, we have selected a few highlights....
Floriade Highlights #1- The Flower Art Project, 'Classics & Future Moments'
Located close to the Expo's central square, this exhibition features eight colourful gardens, each one a living artwork composed of flowering bulbs, perennials and shrubs. “We want to show here how important planting plans are for a beautiful garden," explains Niek Roozen, landscape architect at Floriade. "In the arboretum you can see all kinds of plants with special properties, but there is no planting plan involved. At Classics & Future Moments you can see what a beautiful, modern combination of plants looks like.”
Each garden has been created by a different horticultural artist. Four are already well-known - these are the 'classics' of the show's title, Buro Mien Ruys, Jacqueline van der Kloet, Fleur van Zonneveld and Atelier Ton ter Linden. The others, Stefan Jaspers and Marcel Silkens and two students from Larenstein and Aeres, are emerging talents and represent the 'Future'.
Visitors will be able to walk past each of the artworks just as they would in a traditional gallery and, as no visit is complete with a photographic record, every garden has a small square where you can stand to take a selfie with a floral artwork as a background. “Maybe you are familiar with the photogenic flower bulb fields in Holland which are very popular with tourists," says Roozen. "We used that idea in the construction of these gardens and I can tell you that it will be very beautiful."
Floriade Highlights #2 -The Arboretum
This extraordinary new garden lies at the heart of Floriade's green structure. Consisting of 2,500 trees, as well as shrubs, perennials and ground cover, it has been planted in alphabetical order by botanical name to create a living tree, flower and plant encyclopedia that you can walk through.
The arboretum is a beautiful exhibition showstopper, designed to offer delights in each of the six months of the Expo, through the new growth of spring and the vibrancy of high summer and into the richness of early autumn. But it is also permanent. Floriade Expo 2022's mission is to create a new, green, urban district known as 'Hortus' where, after the Expo closes, houses will be built on the plots surrounding the arboretum. This means that each tree and plant has been chosen not just for its beauty, but also for its suitability for the location (Almere soil is rich in clay) and it's contribution to the urban environment - there are plants that provide insects with extra nutrition, foliage that captures particulate matter, shrubs that produce food and trees that provide shade.
"The idea to make an arboretum was Winy Maas’, founding partner of MVRDV," explains landscape architect Niek Roozen, "but he is an urban planner and architect so we have come in to bring our experience as landscape architects. We have followed Maas’ idea of creating a collection of trees and plants, arranged alphabetically by botanical name, but we said that it would be a collection only of trees and plants that can grow on this specific location. We have not changed the soil you won’t be seeing any rhododendrons, but you will see 650 different varieties of trees from Acer to Zelkova, which grow there very well. We have also designed the arboretum so that it will be flowering beautifully during the Expo next year and also be exciting all year round because this a city where people will live after the Expo closes. What I really hope is that everyone who comes to the Floriade - members of the public, decision makers, architects, urban planners and governments – will see how green can help us survive in a modern urban environment."
Discover our range of monthly Floriade 2022 tour programmes here