Tuesday, 7 April 2015

History : Floriade 2012: "Be part of the theatre in nature, get closer to the quality of life!"

The Floriade is the World Horticultural Expo, which is organised once every ten years in the Netherlands. The sixth edition of Floriade will be taking place from 5 April until 7 October 2012 in the Venlo Regio in Noord-Limburg. With an expected number of two million visitors, Floriade is the largest event being staged in the Netherlands in 2012. Noord-Limburg is the first region to be asked to organise Floriade by the Dutch Horticulture Council outside of the Randstad conurbation. The region around Venlo ranks as one of the major concentrations of horticulture in the Netherlands. If the neighbouring German region of Niederrhein is also included, then the Floriade park is situated in one of the largest contiguous horticultural areas of West-Europe. Thanks to the important agribusiness and its favourable, central location, Venlo has developed into a logistic hotspot. For these reasons, the Dutch government has designated the Venlo region to be one of the five Greenports in the Netherlands.

This edition of Floriade is far more than just a fascinating day out for two million visitors. It marks a strategic moment in the permanent development of an area covering 5,000 hectares to the north west of Venlo. After Floriade, the site will be left as a legacy to Venlo GreenPark: a sustainable business park in leafy, green surroundings. Knowledge and expertise in the domain of agribusiness converge here. This edition of Floriade will also serve to drive the development of knowledge relating to sustainability. The various sustainable buildings constructed on the Floriade site and in the surroundings are witness to this.

Visitors to Floriade will be introduced to the many facets of the horticultural sector in an inspirational and interactive manner. The central theme of this edition is taken as the principle starting point: 'Be part of the theatre in nature, get closer to the quality of life!' This theme has been translated into five themed zones or worlds, where visitors can experience the influence of horticulture on our daily lives using all their senses.

The Floriade park will host more than one hundred exhibits in the form of gardens or pavilions representing participants from the horticultural sector, business community and international participants. In addition, each day Floriade features a cultural programme of music, dance, theatre and visual art from all over the world. Each themed zone boasts its own play area and hospitality areas where guests can enjoy an array of national and international culinary dishes. They can also
savour a picnic surrounded by flowers and trees, lounge on the banks of the water or sit on the theatre hill and delight in the countless shows  and performances.

For a panoramic view of the entire park, take a ride in the Floriade Cable Car. With a length of 1.1 kilometres and a height of more than 30 metres, the Floriade Cable Car is a unique attraction in the Netherlands. The attraction whisks visitors
from one side of the park to the other in five minutes.

Floriade 2012 expects to welcome at least two million paying visitors: 40% from the Netherlands, 40% from Germany (mainly from the German federal state of North Rhine Westphalia) and 20% from other countries, including Great Britain, France, Italy and China. The Floriade is promoted in these countries by the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.

Floriade expects that 85% of the total number of visitors will be consumers, with trade professionals making up the remaining 15%. Floriade 2012 places a high emphasis on families with children. For children in the age group
4 thru 12 years a special programme for that age range 'Floriade Kids' has been set up.

Flowers, plants, shrubs and trees play the starring role during the World Horticultural Expo. So expect to see these beauties in abundance during the sixth edition of Floriade. In between the original wooded areas some 1,8 million bulbs, 190,000 perennials, 18,000 shrubs, 15,000 hedge plants, 5,000 rose bushes and 3,000 trees have been planted.

The planting schemes reflect the five themed zones: Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment and World Show Stage. The plants emphatically bring a unique atmosphere to each of the different theme worlds.

The Floriade is home to a huge number of exceptional plants and collections of plants. For instance, the Friends' Woodland houses a large collection of fruit trees and fruit hedges, comprising heirloom varieties of orchard trees and modern varieties of fruit. The avenue of trees is formed by 120 different unusual tree species, including the Ginkgo Biloba, also known as the Japanese nut tree or Chinese temple tree. This tree was introduced to Europe in 1730 being first planted in the Botanic Gardens in Leiden.

Another amazing attraction is the pleached limes with ten (!) layers of branches in the Education & Innovation zone and the variety of examples of office gardens in Environment, many of which are the result of a competition among garden
and landscape designers and professional gardeners in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The participants at Floriade fall into a number of categories. To start with, there are national and international participants with an exhibit at the park. Floriade expects to display around forty exhibits from nations all over the world.

The national participants partly represent the five main sectors of horticulture: flower bulb growing, fruit and vegetable growing, arboriculture, ornamental plants and flowers and professional landscape gardeners. In addition, countless Dutch companies are also contributing to the sixth edition of Floriade, either in the form of their own exhibits or by helping to lay the basic structure of the park.
A number of public and semi-public bodies are also attending Floriade.

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