This year, the one million bulbs and annuals that would typically beautify Commonwealth Park have been rearranged over 130 sites to create a Tulip Trail through Canberra’s suburbs and city for Floriade: Reimagined.
Floriade: Reimagined operations manager, Sarah Boyd, told Canberra Weekly that once they knew earlier in the year that the regular Commonwealth Park event wouldn’t be feasible, the idea of taking it out to the community was a no-brainer.
“We thought if we couldn’t bring people together into one place, we’d do the opposite of that and take it out across Canberra so everybody, regardless of the restrictions, would be able to access the flowers come spring time,” she said.
With a mix of floral displays created by the Floriade horticulture team and more than 90 Canberra community plantings, Ms Boyd said the sites were strategically chosen.
“Places like hospitals, local shops, medical centres, café precincts … We just want people to come out, explore Canberra and visit these places but also just enjoy it as they go out and do what they’re doing.”
Around 300,000 of the million bulbs and annuals were distributed to community groups and organisations, with not-for-profits, sporting clubs, schools and early learning centres as well as residents’ groups across Canberra all playing their part.
“It wasn’t something we went out looking for, but it was reflected in the applications we received … It’s brought people together and that’s been a great thing to watch,” Ms Boyd said.
Alongside the Tulip Trail, Floriade: Reimagined will also include a face-to-face and digital program to accompany the floral displays.
A six-episode podcast series, online video content including workshops and talks, as well as art and craft and fitness classes, and a Canberra-wide gnome hunt will all take place.
Also, this year NightFest has been transformed into NightFeast.
On Friday 2 October for one night only, Canberrans will enjoy a feast with a mouth-watering difference as restaurants and eateries across the capital dish up bespoke, spring-inspired eats.
As to whether any of the community-driven elements would continue once Floriade is able to return to Commonwealth Park, Ms Boyd said it’s possible depending on the feedback they receive for this year’s iteration.
“This year is an experiment we can learn from and then make some decisions about how we run the event moving forward,” she said.
Floriade: Reimagined will run from 12 September to 11 October, while NightFest will return on Friday 2 October; floriadeaustralia.com