Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Floriade 2014

Floriade is my city's celebration of Spring.  It runs for thirty days, starting in mid September, and is an explosion of colour and scent.  It is now in its twenty-seventh year, and I hope it continues for a loooong time to come.

It is held in the centre of the city, by the lake.  This year's Floriade started on Saturday and the smaller portion and I went down (avoiding the weekend crowds) on Monday for our annual pilgrimmage.

The festival is free to enter, though there are lots and lots and lots of ways to spend money while you are there.  Restaurants, cafes, stalls selling jewellery, chutneys, nuts, kites, fudge, soap, pearls, silk...  There are even some which sell things for the garden.  There is music, and other entertainment.  There are displays by florists and cooks.  Perhaps not something for everyone, but certainly something for a lot of people.

Even the walk to Floriade from our habitual parking spot is pretty.  In my usual restrained fashion rather a lot of photos follow...







And then to Floriade itself.  It is a constant juggle every year to get things to bloom 'on time'.  So far this year?  Not a lot is in full bloom - except lots and lots of pansies.  Some of the tulips are out, some of the poppies.  A few daffodils.  I didn't see any iris out yet.  Some hyacinth.  Lots and lots of beds using parsley as an accent.
















There are designs and patterns incorporated into the flower beds.  In years gone by, you could see them from viewing ramps.  For the last few years the only way to see the full picture has been to ride the ferris wheel.  Not possible for everyone - and not free.



I suspect it is a way of recouping some of the expense, but I don't approve.  Just the same we did ride it, and loved some of the images revealed.  You might need to click and embiggen to get the full impact.






It wasn't the only cost cutting measure we saw this year.  There were a lot less tulips, daffodils and spring bulbs more generally.  The pansies and violas made up the bulk of the plantings, rather than being a backdrop or accent.  Despite the undeniable beauty in some ways I was disappointed, and I don't think I will go back again this year.  Next year?  Need you ask?  Of course.

There was also plenty of quirky fun, which I will save for this week's Sunday Selections. 

A few more shots.










As is usual, I stopped off and bought a handful of fridge magnets which I am happy to send to anyone who would like one.  Let me know via email or in comments.

And some more beauty on the way out.






Next week Tulip Tops for more Spring delight.

133 comments:

  1. Whilst you are celebrating spring, we are gearing up for our annual autumn celebration: the Covered Bridge Festival. 10 days of nonstop traffic, and 90% of it will go nowhere near a covered bridge! Instead, they'll go to the towns of Rockville and Bridgeton, and the burgh of Mansfield, in order to buy and eat, lol.

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    1. We went to see the bridges last October staying in the Rockville Jail Inn missing the festival

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    2. Jacquelineand...: I love autumn and would love to see Covered Bridges. They fascinate me.

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    3. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: Covered bridges? Beautiful things. Forget the festival and show me the bridges sounds exactly what we would do.

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    4. see November 15 2013 Hoosier holiday. lots of bridges. will put in link when I have the computer

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    5. Sue in Italia/in the Land of Cancer: Thank you.

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    6. http://suzannekesten2.blogspot.com/2013/11/hoosier-holiday.html

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  2. Beautiful photos! Looks like it's huge - they have a Ferris Wheel and everything. Really dig the mural on the amphitheater.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: It is big. And beautiful. The murals are a delight, though it is probably a bit small for an ampitheatre.

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  3. Well, even though you have several years to compare this year to, I found it to be really lovely. The world planting from the ferris wheel was especially nice, and oh, those black swans. Perfect. Thanks for taking so many pictures. I love pansies. :-)

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    1. DJan: I am really glad that you enjoyed it. And yes, pansies are gorgeous things.

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  4. Me, me, me please! I know I already have one. Are they different this year? If so I would love to have one, please.

    I am glad you took the ferris wheel. So much work has gone into those gardens so it was worth the trip.

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    1. ditchingthedog: They are different and I am very happy to send you one. I will post it early next week.

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    2. ditchingthedog: Ten days or so...

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  5. How lovely! And thank you for reminding us to see the photos in their larger space. You can see so much more if we do that.

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    1. DeniseinVA: It is lovely. And I am now feeling that perhaps (probably) I was being a greedy sod in feeling any disappointment.

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  6. It is beautiful. I'm liking your spring a lot.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Spring has a lot of charm doesn't it?

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  7. I'm a sucker for those sweet little pansy faces.

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    1. Delores: I remembered that you liked pansies and was thinking of you when I took their photo.

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  8. So much beauty in those photos! I love the one of that lake with the mirror-like surface. Amazing.

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist: There is a magic about water isn't there? Always. Still or moving.

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  9. What a pretty place - and your photos, as usual, are gorgeous!

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    1. Susan F.: I live in a very pretty city - and do love the lake.

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  10. My favourite photo has to be that little red truck filled with the flowers in the back. Swiftly followed up by the wheelbarrow. Absolutely delightful. How I'd love those parked in my backyard :)

    It sounds like you and the smaller portion had a wonderful day. Then again, how could you not in such a lovely place :)

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    1. Wendy: I really liked the truck too. And the wheelbarrows. There were at least half a dozen of them, but most were not yet in bloom.

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  11. Pretty flowers. I especially liked your photo of the Ferris wheel from below

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: Thank you - I very nearly didn't include that photo.

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  12. Every year, I remind myself that I probably should go to Canberra.But never do. I read somewhere that the plantings this year would be more restrained and so it seems.
    But I enjoyed seeing it from afar, without crowds.Than k you.

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    1. dinahmow: Some year. There is a lot here I think you would like - and mid week the crowds are not too bad.

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  13. I'm glad you were your normal restrained self. Because I enjoyed.

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    1. R. Mac Wheeler: I will be equally restrained next week (or the week after) when we go to Tulip Tops.

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  14. What gorgeous pictures! Spring is my favorite time of the year, but I'm not sad to be approaching the fall here. We still have a LOT of flowers... just not tulips and daffodils. Thanks for sharing your pics. Almost like being there.

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    1. Susan: We are, on opposite sides of the world, getting to lovely times of the year. Autumn is very, very special.

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  15. It's too bad the US is so far away because I would love a magnet. Is that truck as old as it looks or just a different style from what I see here. I really hate to see rides in nature festivals. All those flowers are beautiful. Fall is fast coming in my part of the world.

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    1. Linda: The magnets are light, and I am happy to send you a magnet. Send me your address and it will go in the mail in a few days. The ferris wheel was the only ride - and it did have a valid purpose this time.

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  16. So much to delight there! I really love the stepped stone seating area and want one in my yard. I love the old red truck/ute, the barrow full of hyacinths, the bottom of the ferris wheel carriages, everything really. I used parsley one year as dividing hedges between my tomatoes and other stuff. I had so much parsley by the time I'd chopped and dried it, everyone I knew got a jar full and I'm still using up the last jar now.
    Shame about the tulips and other bulbs not blooming much yet, spring has been a bit slow arriving and there's the cost cutting measures too. Getting hundreds of bulbs to flowering point must be costly.
    I would love a fridge magnet please.

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    1. River: The steps are there all year round, and overlook a chess board set into the ground. Which I think is a lovely idea.
      Fridge magnet will go to you soon.

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  17. Of course! Amphitheater. Thanks Alex J Cavanaugh, I couldn't think of the name.

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  18. Such beautiful flowers! Some of your pictures would make lovely note cards...but does anyone write notes anymore? Do you write poetry...how about a poem to go with each of those blooms? The idea of a month long celebration...great idea for spring. Enjoy it all, as I know you will...love that wheel barrow and truck full of blooms!

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    1. Bookie: I am not a poet so can't take you up on that idea. I would love it if you or someone else did though.

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  19. Beautiful blossoms; wonderful photos....and it's the time of the year a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love, or so we were told by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his poem of 97 couplets..."Locksley Hall" (not "Downton Abbey").

    What about the rest of us? What do our thoughts turn to? Flowers and Floriade, perhaps; and the Scarecrow Festival up here on the hill where I roam. :)

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    1. Lee: A Scarecrow Festival? Photos please, I would love to see it. And no, my fancy doesn't turn to love in Spring - unless you count my love of the garden.

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    2. Yes please, Scarecrow Festival photos would be wonderful!

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  20. How glad that you got to enjoy such a day. What a riot of color and SPRING!
    Magical. . . .

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

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    1. Cloudia: It was a very pleasant few hours wandering in the sunshine. It smelt amazing too.

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  21. I can't remember the last time I rode on a ferris wheel, must do that some day soon, love the shots from above. of course all the flowers and gardens are wonderful but the ferris wheel has me thinking of a happy time flying through the air.

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    1. Linda Starr: For the past few years I have ridden this Ferris Wheel every year. And marvelled. I would love to take a balloon flight over the gardens too.

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  22. It looks like a lovely celebration and if I lived closer than the other side of the world, I would have attended also.

    I love spring flowers and could easily live in an area where there were only three seasons.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: It is a lovely celebration, and we always go. At least once.
      I too would be happy with only three seasons. Summer is the one I would pass on - how about you?

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  23. It is hard to tell, but I think there may well be less on display. I don't remember the ferris wheel last year. It would be great to get an overview. I guess it is a case of me just not remembering it. I did enjoy the large music machine, donation only.

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    1. Andrew: There were quite a few less flower beds than in other years. I understand it, but am still a bit sad. The festival brings a lot of money into town. And yes, it undoubtedly costs a lot too. Compromise.

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  24. So many gorgeous photos. I would love it there too, I'm sure. And don't Ferris Wheels make the best pictures? I don't know why that is, they're just big hunks of metal but I love every picture of one I've taken too. You got a great underside pic!

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    1. mail4rosey: The London Eye is perhaps the most 'civilised' and up-market Ferris Wheel I have ever seen, but they all have charm.

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  25. Flora at it's best, beautiful beautiful beautiful. And the birds, hits me in the heart, lovely.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Birds make everywhere look better don't they?

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  26. It's interesting. In your part of the world, the flowers are blooming. In my part, autumn is coming, but the people who has gardens are planning what spring bulbs to plants, and the stores are full of them.

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    1. CrimsonAnna: A gardener's work is never done. I am already thinking what to plant for spring displays next year...

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  27. I enjoyed seeing your spring festivities.. especially those colorful spring flowers..
    I wish you good health n much happiness :)

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    1. Pam: Health and happiness to you and yours too.

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  28. Wow lots of beautiful photos! I love the Ferris Wheel, but I'm a fan of Fairs in general, but still it does seem a strange setting for it amongst all the flowers and natural beauty.

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    1. LL Cool Joe: It is incongruous - but useful. Without the Ferris Wheel the patterns in the garden beds are invisible.

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  29. I'm so glad I get to experience your spring, while we turn to autumn on this side of the world. What a lovely day! Love all the photos.

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    1. Lynn: It was a lovely day. And smelt as good as it looked.

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  30. Dear EC
    Thanks for sharing your visit. Lots of lovely plants. My favourite photo? The wheelbarrow full of hyacinths!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: The perfume from that wheelbarrow was incredible. And I loved its vivid colour too.

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  31. Loved enjoying the Floriade with you last year my friend and enjoyed it this year as well so thank you so much for sharing. I must agree that there seems to be cost saving involved but still much beauty to see and imagination as well.
    Loved the aerial shots. I'd not be game to go on a ferris wheel so would never see things from that angle. : )

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    1. Mimsie: It is a very slow and gentle Ferris Wheel. Which was just as well.
      I am glad you enjoyed it. Tulip Tops next week.

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  32. I think I'd like to live in a little tree house in the center of that! What a gorgeous view - the colors, the patterns. And I love wall murals. Thank you for sharing such a slice of paradise!

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    1. River Fairchild: I suspect the tree house would get too noisy during Floriade. The rest of the year? Yes please. I would love to live on the water somewhere.

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    2. Water? Squee! My fantasy is to live permanently on a cruise ship! I could travel the world and have the comfort of home all in one. :)

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    3. River Fairchild: I am a world class puker so that option is not for me. Sadly.

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  33. Such beautiful photos. The event sounds amazing and a wonderful place to visit. I like that it's a month long so you don't have everyone rushing to get there during a weekend opening.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Welcome and thank you. A month is great. It gives us the opportunity to go a couple of times as more things open. And, as you say, to avoid the crowds on weekends.

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  34. What a pretty day Monday turned out to be... and happily less crowded.
    Fabulous photos. And, I too am a fan of the flower bedecked old ute. Very cool.
    Love that photo into the sun from the base of the wheel - I do like a "happy sun-shot".

    Glad you braved the heights to bring us a birds eye view, EC. Always wonderful to get another perspective over such clever floral designs.

    Sad that cost cutting has been reflected at Floriade. Hopefully, more tulips (and other bulbs) will return next year.
    Looking forward to Sunday's pics :)

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    1. Vicki: Cost cutting or not, there is a lot to admire. And revel in. And I did. Simultaneously with that sense of greedy disappointment.

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  35. What a wonderful spring celebration!

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    1. ladyfi: It is. And Spring is a very good thing to celebrate.

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  36. What wonderful pictures. Sounds like a fantastic celebration and should be adopted everywhere. We have a nationwide competition called Communities in Bloom. Communities can enter the competition all across Canada and judges will come out. It brings out the pride in each community to look its best!

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    1. Sienna Smythe: Communities in Bloom sounds like a wonderful idea. And every community which participates will be a winner.

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  37. I like the flower laden truck bed and wheelbarrow. Your city seems so artistic and gorgeous.

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    1. Strayer: The city is a mixture. We have lots of politicians who are neither artistic nor gorgeous. And treats like this to make up for them.

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  38. The pictures of the flowers are great, the pictures from the Ferris wheel had me panicking a little bit. Funny that I don't actually have to be on one for those things to scare me.

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    1. Lisa: It wasn't a scary Ferris Wheel - really it wasn't. Not very high, and very slow. I am sorry to panic you though.

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  39. Dear Sue, thanks for suggesting that we click on the photographs to enlarge them. I so liked the flower beds that pictures the shape of humans and the globe as well. So much talent from a real artist who designed them.

    As to the magnet. I'd love to have one but sending all the way from there to here is too expensive. But I do thank you for the thought! Peace.

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    1. Dee: I will happily send you a magnet. Postage costs are not too bad. Do I have your address?
      The patterns in the gardens are clever aren't they? And rather a lot of work went into them.

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  40. One year I will get there.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merlesworld: It is worth the trip. And stop in at Tulip Tops on your way up or back.

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  41. Some of these shots look like my hometown in Northern Cal. As I scrolled down, though, I realized your stomping grounds are cleaner and even more beautiful. What a spirited city to celebrate Spring. Looks like you have much to celebrate.

    Take care, EC.

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    1. Rawkynrobyn: Mostly the city is clean(ish). And extra effort (which never goes astray) is put into the clean up for Floriade.
      Take care - and don't work too hard organising your upcoming event.

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  42. I envy you just coming in to spring while our summer is almost over. What a neat festival and the flower beds with designs...very cool!

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  43. Brilliant! Such a delicious collection of photos, EC, and even though they weren't all out, the gardens are pretty amazing. I'm looking forward to Tulip Tops next...

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    1. Carol: We are looking forward to Tulip Tops too. Really, really looking forward to it.

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  44. Holy hosta, Batman! That is a lot of flowers and greenery! :) Gorgeous pictures, as always!
    Love the sound of that festival, too. We're having a big craft festival up here this weekend, too, but they charge to get into it, and I think it's kind of a ripoff.

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    1. Dawn@Lighten Up!: They charged entry to Floriade for a few years, and numbers dropped off dramatically. And there are more than enough money making ventures inside.

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  45. Loved it all, especially the floral mosaics.

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    1. Grannie Annie: It is clever isn't it? And beautiful. And fun. And there is never enough fun in the world.

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  46. Spring! Don't you love it?!

    Pearl

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  47. Wish I had something like that to see nearby. But, seeing your photos is almost as good as being there. Thank you so much. What a beauty treat!

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    1. Myrna R.: An annual treat. A much anticipated annual treat.

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  48. I still have last year's magnet on my fridge bestowing it's cacophony of colour upon the kitchen and you have taken just as many beautiful photographs this year as well. Yes it is high, that wheel is high. Yes it is. I'd be lying down on the floor praying for it to be all over, not that you'd get me in there in the first place, so I'm glad you went up instead of me, it was well worth the effort. The truck appeals enormoulsy. What kind of birds are they?

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    1. All Consuming: Another magnet to join the collection? The birds are pied cormorants (and swans in the next). I loved the truck too. And would like to see more trucks decorated that way.

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    2. The postage is too expensive. So no! I got the swans *laughs, and like black ones, they are very rare here! and the pied cormorants are great too, I can never remember which bird is which, but in rarely actively dislike them. I don't like ones that attack me basically hahahaha.

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  49. I definitely like the name. Floriade, although I wouldn't know how to pronounce it! :-) It is a real explosion of colour. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: It is an explosion of colour - and scent. Florry Aid. And it doesn't matter how it is said, as long as it is seen.

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  50. Enlarging the photos reveals so much detail! Do the silhouettes (in metal, maybe?) of the man, woman, boy and girl - have special significance? And did the ferris wheel take you around more than once? I hope so! Lovely flowers and lovely murals, too.

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    1. jenny_o: I think the silhouettes (which I suspect are illuminated for the Night Fest) signify the 'family friendly' nature of the event. The Ferris Wheel did go round multiple times - which I needed for photography and for ogling purposes. It was relatively uncrowded while we were there and I suspect we got extra time on the wheel because of it. And I wasn't complaining.

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  51. Beautiful! I love the profusion of colours even with your comments about flowers that are 'missing' this year, and I love your close ups EC. Just the spring lift I need after gardening in the mud today.

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    1. Kim: Gardening in the mud? Send some of that rain this way. Please.

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    2. I could send you another 26mm after last night, quite willingly

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    3. Please. We had about 5 yesterday - and it was very, very welcome.

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  52. What an awesome idea. And why be restrained with a camera when spring is arriving?

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    1. Riot Kitty: Restraint is a alien concept to me. With most things.

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  53. What a splendid event! The colors were stunning.

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  54. Beautiful! I love all the spring flowers - and the two black swans, too!

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    1. Carol Kilgore: The swans add an air of elegance to every event they grace...

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  55. It must be nearly 20 years since we visited Floriade and in those days it was mainly tulips and daffodils. Absolutely lovely.

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    1. Helsie: Welcome. Floriade was mostly daffodils and tulips until very lately. The early versions made much better use of Nerang Pool as well. Just the same, the explosion of colour and scent is always welcome.

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  56. The views from the Ferris wheel are beautiful - I especially like the earth-shaped one. I really like your second picture of the Ferris wheel - great shot!!! Of course I like the little truck (looks like a 2CV?) with the flowers in its truckbed - so neat!!
    If you still have a fridge magnet left... my fridge loves magnets!!

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    1. Carola Bartz: The earth-shaped garden was my favourite too. Very, very clever. And yes, there is a fridge magnet left. I will post it early next week.

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  57. Ahh...Floriade :-)
    I went along last weekend ... I don''t think I ever see quite so many cameras in one spot as I do each year at Floriade ;-)
    Nice pictures and I agree with you about the lack of viewing ramps and structures this year too ... that ferris wheel is kinda exorbitant ...

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    1. Geoff: Take a trip to Tulip Tops. Much less commercial, and fewer visitors.

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  58. You know what I love? That every year, just around the time your flowers come in fully, our Autumn leaves are turning. I love your flower pictures, but you know that. And the pix from the ride! The many stills in my head from the rides I've taken! Happy Spring, EC!

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    1. Austan: Happy Autumn to you - a lovely time of year. And I do love that we can share the joys...

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  59. Cost cutting? Not enough sponsorship perhaps? I hope there us someway they take feedback on board to better things for next year. I was quite shocked by how commercial it was when I visited. And the food was quite expensive I thought. I must do Canberra again one day.

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    1. Carol in Cairns: It is indeed very commercial. And lots of it is quite expensive too. Entry is free, but a lot of money is spent. A huge amount. It is good business for the city so I am hoping that the penny-pinching will stop. Probably hoping in vain.

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  60. It must have been a wonderful day out - and it all looks so calm and relaxed, unlike many of the garden shows and exhibitions I have been to. A good idea to go on the Monday.
    I love the pansy 'cone', and the truck, and the beautiful trees and the birds...
    Thank you too for overcoming your principles (which I completely agree with) to go up on the ferris wheel so that we could see the views from above. Just lovely!

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    1. Alexia: We never go to these shows on a weekend. And try not to go to any 'events' when the crowds are about. I thought the pansy cone looked like a Darlek. And smiled.

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