Not dead yet! – a late visit to Floriade

I don’t normally visit Floriade so late in the proceedings, but this year I haven’t been able to get there any sooner. At just over one week left to run I’m pleased to report that, despite rumours to the contrary, there is still plenty of colour and Floriade is still worth seeing.


What was clear was that while the tulips were not as numerous, the underlying strength of the planting scheme was holding up really well. In a lot of beds it was the humble viola that was providing additional colour. The sheer variety of colours available in this simple plant makes highlighting the colours of the tulips an effect that any gardener could employ.


Two other variations included this wonderfulgrouping of blowsy pink candy striped tulips and pink Bellis perennis in the ‘Farmers Market’ bed…


and a slightly more complex combination of yellow tulips, jonquils, daffodils and yellow ranunculas, picked out against pale mauve violas in the ‘Flaming Barbeque’ bed.


Of course I was also interested to see the ‘Victory Garden’ which was developed by the Australian War Memorial and grown by the students at CIT. The veggies are looking good – beetroot, silverbeet, broad beans and onions. But the design seemed to be pretty much a repeat of the kitchen garden last year.


Half barrels of rosemary and a pine tree pick up on the war theme. The most interesting aspect of the garden is the growing wall where the symbol of the War Memorial is picked out in flowers and vegetables. On the wall are Baby Beetroot, Violas, Sweet Marjoram, Triple Curled Parsley and Thyme.


For my money the ‘Tasteful Sensations’ garden which was made by the ACT Government and Yarralumla Nursery really showed what you could do with vegetables and an engaging design.


Curly parsley and ornamental kales surrounded cabbages, red lettuces, rainbow chard and a centre of kale Cavolo Nero. A similar planting was in the boat which was edged by pea plants.

Going back to my earlier comments about ideas for home gardeners I was also impressed by some of the half barrel plantings …


and the display of new plant offerings shown in a collection of wheelbarrows.


I’m thinking that my own wheel barrow planting of Ixias may just be getting an overhaul next season.

Speaking of new offerings I was very interested in this Tulipa ‘Bakeri’ Lilac Wonder with the mauve petals and golden centre.


I also liked the fringed tulips (Crispa tulips) in the ‘Flaming Barbeque’ bed …


and I have to finish on a parrot tulip.


So get going and go to Floriade!




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