Celebrating Spring ~ Floriade 2013, Canberra, ACT Australia

A ferris wheel behind colourful tulips, Floriade, Canberra AU

Ferris Wheel
Floriade, Canberra’s spring-flower festival, has taken on a carnival atmosphere in recent years.

It is spring in Australia; has been, officially, since the first of September – even though the mercury might disagree.

I’ve been asked, from time to time, what the weather is like “Down Under” – I guess by people who haven’t looked at a map or globe recently. After all, the great southern land reaches well into the Tropic of Capricorn and extends chillingly close to Antarctica. So climate zones vary greatly, with the vast, dry centre having seasonal extremes of heat and cold; the tropical north being hot and humid most of the year; and the coastal regions, where most people live, being somewhat more temperate. Most of the country, of course, is also subject to regular fires, droughts and floods.

Canberra, Australia’s capital, is in a temperate zone, and unlike Sydney, where I lived for many years, has four distinct seasons that more closely resemble those I remember from my youth. Canberra turns on the colours in both spring and autumn.

Red Tulips, Floriade, Canberra AU

A Sea of Red Tulips

Single Yellow Tulip, Floriade Canberra AU

A Yellow Tulip

Purple Tulips, Floriade, Canberra AU

Purple Tulips

Every year for the last twenty-six, Canberra has celebrated spring with Floriade, billed as the largest floral festival in the Southern Hemisphere. I’ve been to Floriade in the past – the occasion I remember best was the year when classical music played from the flower beds and Chihuly glass installations graced the ponds.

That was many years ago, so we decided to make the trip last weekend and see what the festival had to offer. Originally, Floriade was essentially a spring flower garden display, with beds of exotic bulbs and annuals planted alongside Lake Burley Griffin in Commonwealth Park.

That sure has changed! It is now a full “lifestyle” event with workshops, demonstrations, entertainment, food, and shopping. For the last six years, there has even been a “NightFest”, turning the flower gardens into a ticketed after-dark lighting and performance space.

Ferris Wheel and tulips under red light: NightFest, Floriade Canberra AU

Night Lights
The tulips and the ferris wheel are a bit surreal under the changing lights of NightFest.

White Tulip under light, NightFest, Canberra AU

White Tulip
The flowerbeds are eerie at night.

A woman

A Face in the Green
Like fireflies or fairies, laser lights danced amongst the trees.

Green laser lights over a crowd of people, NightFest

Green Laser Lights

A young woman under green laser light s uses her mobile.

Call Home?

Performers light fire battons in the dark on the Electric Theatre stage, NightFest Canberra AU

Drumassault and the Fireflies
To the sound of drums, performers light their batons.

A female performer juggles flaming poi in the dark on the Electric Theatre stage, NightFest Canberra AU

Playing with Fire
One of the Fireflies swings her poi.

Juggling Fire

Juggling Fire

We returned the next morning to join the crowds admiring and photographing the more-than-one-million blooms in the various flower beds designed to pay tribute to Canberra’s centenary.

View over the red tulips in the Australian National Botanic Gardens Beds, Floriade Canberra AU

Australian National Botanic Gardens Beds

Purple Tulips with pink bellis, Floriade Canberra AU

Purple Tulips and Pink Bellis

Women in white face-paint and pink flower costumes, Floriade, Canberra AU

Stilt-Walking Flowers

Red Tulips, Floriade Canberra AU

Red Tulips

Shiny Metal Flower sculpture suspended in trees, Floriade Canberra AU

Giant Metal Flowers
Amongst the rhododendrons, we came across suspended flowers: the source of the reflected laser light during NightFest.

Orange  and Yellow flowers in the Royal Australian Mint flower beds, Floriade, Canberra

Orange and Yellow
The colours of money adorn the Royal Australian Mint flower beds.

Reflective Metal Kangaroo sculpture, The Royal Australian Mint garden, Floriade Cancerra

Reflective Kangaroo
The kangaroo from the Australian dollar coin rises up out of the Royal Australian Mint garden.

Yellow poppy amid colourful tulips, Floriade Canberra AU

Poppies also featured.

Family groups on the lawns, painting gnomes, Floriade Canberra AU

Family Time
Canberra families are out, enjoying the sun and taking part in the gnome painting ~

Garden Gnomes on display, Floriade Canberra AU

Garden Gnomes
~ because it is not a garden without a garden gnome!

Iris and Bluebells, Floriade

Iris and Bluebells

Two dancers from Canberra Swing Katz on stage at Floriade

Canberra Swing Katz
On Stage 88, a local dance group…

Two dancers from Canberra Swing Katz on stage at Floriade

… show off their moves …

Big Band on Stage 88, Floriade Canberra AU

… and a big band plays on.

Daisies Floriade Canberra AU


Pelican on Lake Burley Griffin

It’s a glorious spring day on Lake Burley Griffin.

Text: Happy Rambles, Ursula :-)

We’ve had wild winds and stormy rains alternating with glorious sunny days in our little corner of the country.

I guess it really is spring!

Enjoy the season, whatever it is whereever you are.

Happy rambles!

Pictures: 25-29September2013

  • Gabe - October 3, 2013 - 11:40 am

    Beautifully presentedReplyCancel

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