Wednesday, 9 October 2019

All of the Tulips! Floriade Canberra

It's no secret that I love Spring and all of the flowers!
In April I planted dozens of tulip and daffodil bulbs in the gardens. They were mixed packs of early and late flowering ones.

This gorgeous double pink frilled tulip below was my favourite!
This year the Bear and I planned a trip to Canberra for our year 10 high school 30th reunion. I was one of the organisers so kind of maybe scheduled the reunion event to coincide with Floriade.

Floriade is the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere and is held every year in my home town of Canberra. I hadn't been to Floriade in around 15 years so have really wanted to go back.

So the Bear, Sonofagun No.2 and I jumped in the car super early and drove 7 hours up to Canberra.

We arrived at lunchtime and decided to sample the local beverage. Choc mint milk named after the local football team.

We stopped by our old high school. See that class room inside the yellow dots? 

31 years ago we met in that classroom. Year 9 English class!

We had a few hours to kill before the reunion, so we stopped by Old Parliament House to visit an old friend from school who worked there. We took the opportunity to look around.

So totally NOT my photo. It was raining on the day so I was too wussy to go out and take a pic of the front of the building. Pinched from
Old Parliament House is now used to show a stack of ever changing art exhibitions.  The image above is from Behind the Lines. An exhibition of political cartoons.
This years' theme is Alice in Wonderland inspired 'Curiouser and curiouser'...

Much to my absolute joy there was a Craftivism exhibition!

The piece below was designed by artist Hiromi Tango. She makes large installations of yarn and found fabric scraps as a way to deal with her anxiety. There's so much info these days supporting what we already know: craft is great for our wellbeing and mental health.

I'm super sorry this is blurry!

The two pieces below are by artist Kate Just. She has an series of knitted images called Feminist Fan. These two below are dedicated to Pussy Riot.  Using knitting to create works like these just freaking BLOW ME AWAY!!!!

Love, LOVE LOVE! So inspiring.
This installation called Archiloom was amazing. The artists Chaco Kato and Dylan Martorell invite people to come in and tie stuff on, move stuff around as Archiloom resists a state of completion. It encourages people to take time to produce, assemble and experience creativity.
So Bear and Sonofagun No.2 got their creative on!
We then wandered through the rest of the building until we found the Prime Ministers Suite.

Still looking very authentic 1980s with typewriters, ashtrays and clunky little TVs.

The last guy to sit behind this desk was good old Hawkie... The Honorable Robert J. Hawke....

Our high school reunion was fantastic! So many gorgeous faces, most of whom we hadn't seen in 30 years!
Much drinking, chatting and hugs happened.
The next morning with a teensy bit of a hangover, I dragged the Bear out to the place I had wanted to visit this whole time.....

Floriade takes place every year at Commonwealth Park in Canberra.
Are you ready for some pure, unadulterated FLOWER PORN????    (I use that word desperately hoping Google search bots don't associate my page with the wrong thing leading a whole bunch of horny teenagers here hoping for boob pics....)
Yeah baby, show me them sexy stamens....

Just a small selection of entrants in the Garden Gnome decorating competition.

The Parental Units joined us so the Mothership and I decided to twin out with matching hats.
More flower lurve...
Many years ago when I was as a horticulturist, I worked in a local Canberra garden centre.

And I loved to give my customers the talk about the birds and the bees...
They'd come in and say, "Why is my blah-blah plant looking spindly? It had heaps of flowers, and now it looks yellowy and a bit thinned out!"

"Ah-ha!" said I!
My favourite audience was the little old ladies from a nearby retirement village because they loved it when I said the next bit:

"It's just had lots of SEX!" 

"OOOhhhh! You're funny!" and they'd give a scandalous little giggle...

"Yep, that whole plant has just had lots of glorious colourful flowery SEX!  Now it's lying back slurping the dregs of a glass of wine, sucking back a ciggie and feeling a bit worn out. BUT VERY HAPPY!"

And they'd giggle again. Then I'd tell them to buy a bag of fertiliser to replenish the poor bush after all of the plant sex, so it can get ready for the next season of plant sex.
My manager hated me telling that story. He was a bit of a prude. 
But it turns out sex sells fertiliser. 
So he let me keep telling it.
Close your petals Poppy! We can see your anthers...

These creamy double tulips look like vanilla ice cream!
What really makes the colours in these tulips pop are the underplantings of pansies, violas, english daisies and polyanthus. Really beautiful and clever landscaping...
 Whoever designs the beds each year does amazing things with colour.

I had never seen this gorgeous yellow and red double tulip before.

The black violas make the double pink tulips burst out.

The sign in the photo above showed the garden bed (below to represent Nordic knitting designs. Not all the tulips were out yet but hopefully you can see some of the blue and white from the design.
If you can't make to Floriade this year (it finishes on the 13th of October),mark it on your calendar for next year. It runs for a month and is completely free!
The next day we drove back to Melbourne where I got to enjoy my own very, very mini-Floriade.

Red Haired Amazona