Green Love at Floriade Expo 2022

Green Love at Floriade Expo 2022

Leading Dutch floral designer, Heleen Valstar has been chosen as chief arranger for the ‘Experiential Greenhouse’ in the greenhouse complex at Floriade Expo 2022. We caught up with her to find out what she has planned.

ECT Travel: What is the ‘Experiential Greenhouse’?

HV: It’s one of the five areas of The Green House, which is located at the entrance to Floriade and will be one of the Expo’s major crowd pullers. Designed by V8 Architects and measuring 170m long, the aim of The Green House as a whole is to introduce visitors to the world of horticulture and allow them to experience its social impact. The Experiential Greenhouse is the show area, and my ambition is to spread its theme ‘Green Love’ by showing what people can do with flowers and plants inside their homes. There will be a broad program of events that inspire and challenge visitors to participate, such as tastings, presentations from growers, flower design competitions and workshops.

Floriade 2022 Garden City Netherlands Impression of The Green House by V8 Architects at Floriade Expo 2022

ECT: And what is your role as chief arranger?

HV: I will be creating arrangements and decorations using the many different flowers and plants that we receive from the growers and horticultural companies. Lots of them many are new varieties and novelties, which is exciting. The Green House is six meters high, so we are making big arrangements like hanging gardens and flower walls. And we are going to use a lot of colour as a relief after these dark times. There will be some permanent stands, but around one third will be changed every couple of weeks, with different flowers and atmospheres reflecting the changing season. I am going to be busy!

ECT: How does this work reflect your own style?

HV: I always like to work in a natural way, creating combinations between plants and flowers and I also like to make large scale things, but each project is tailored for the client and the Experiential Greenhouse is all about inspiring visitors to get creative with their hands and bring flowers and plants into their homes. I am passionate about flowers and plants – I have been working in the industry for 35 years and I am the daughter of a grower – and I think ‘Green Love’ can bring us happiness and good health.

Heleen Valstar Keukenhof floral design Heleen Valstar's installation at Keukenhof, photo by Laurens Lindhout

ECT: Will you work with other floral designers too?

HV: Yes, I am working with the Floriade Horticultural Team and also bringing in some well-known floral designers to do presentations and workshops on the stage. I can’t reveal any names yet but there will be some stars to look forward to….

Discover our fabulous programme of monthly tours to Floriade Expo 2022 here