I love the slogan that is being used to promote next year’s Centenary of Canberra: Four beautiful seasons, twelve fantastic months, one very big year. It highlights what I think is extra special about our National Capital – that there are four distinct seasons, each with its own appeal, each one celebrated in all its glory.
While it’s easy to nominate my least favourite season – this winter has been particularly hard to take! – spring is a total joy. And the highlight of spring is the month-long celebration of Floriade, when more than a million flowers transform Commonwealth Park into a riot of colour. The city has turned on the most glorious weather for today’s opening.
Floriade had its origins in a 1988 Bicentennial project that proved so popular it has been held every year since. Each year the event takes on a different theme, dictating the design of the garden beds as well as the entertainment and events. This year it’s Style and Design.
Here’s a summary of what’s on offer, along with photos from previous years to inspire you. All photos © Christine Salins.
Week One – Spring Palettes
Headline: MasterChef 2010 finalist Courtney Roulston
See fashion and flowers come together at the Passion for Fashion exhibition. Join gardening expert and author Jackie French and local chefs in the Gourmet Garden.
Week Two – Fashion & Design
Headline: Jayson Brundson and Wayne Cooper.
Runway shows, style workshops, appearances by some of Australia’s most iconic fashion designers.
Week Three – His & Hers DIY
Headline: Polly and Waz, winners of The Block 2011 and Better Homes and Gardens presenter Jason Hodges.
Meet chefs and gardening experts in the Gourmet Garden. The live music program heats up.
Week Four – Home Grown Living
An ode to all things natural, from tips for sustainable living to celebrating home grown produce.
Live music acts, comedians, cutting edge DJ’s, night markets and roving entertainment. Don Burke demonstrates ecologically sustainable gardening and cooking. Jazz musician Elana Stone headlines the closing weekend.
Floriade will be held from Saturday, 15 September to Sunday, 14 October, 2012.
Entry is free – what a bargain!
Nightfest cost $25 adults, $10 children. Tickets available at www.ticketek.com