Australia & NZ
10 Famous Flower and Garden Shows
Every now and then we like to stop and smell the roses. And the orchids. And the irises. You get the point. Time to harness your inner gardener and florist with these 10 famous flower and garden shows around the world.
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
A Victoria state capital staple since 1995, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is the premier horticultural bash below the equator and the only one with a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a host. Indeed, Melbourne’s Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building puts on a fine show for over 100,000 people every April.
Where to stay: Mantra On The Park Apartment Melbourne
The other big flower expo in Australia and, indeed, the Southern Hemisphere, is unquestionably the free spring fling held in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park every September and October. The tourism linchpin of the Australian Capital Territory is a good reason to get yourself to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.
Where to stay: Aria Hotel Canberra
Ellerslie International Flower Show
New Zealand got in the pretty flower business in 1994 with the Ellerslie International Flower Show. For the first decade and a half the expo was held in Auckland but was sold to Christchurch City Council for $3 million NZD. The rest is Garden City history.
Where to stay: Argyle On The Park Christchurch
Auckland Flower Show
Happily, Auckland still has a first-rate flower show. The Auckland Flower Show takes place in November in the suburb of Epsom, where horses have to make way for horticulturalists in that venerable haven of harness racers, Alexandra Park.
Where to stay: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Singapore Garden Festival
What is it about biennial events that garner so much buzz? The Singapore Garden Festival takes place every other year in July at Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. The 2012 edition was a spectacular nine-day affair, with 39 designers from 19 countries and over 100,000 visitors.
Where to stay: The Fullerton Bay Hotel
Holland Food & Flowers
The Dutch know a thing or two about headline-grabbing, world-class horticultural expositions. The original Floriade, for one, is an exclusive, highly-anticipated, once-in-a-decade event with global reach. In between, the annual Holland Food & Flowers show fills in the blanks in late February with a week of food, flowers, seeds and vegetables under one roof in the town of Bovenkarspel, some 60 km outside Amsterdam.
Where to stay: Banks Mansion Hotel Amsterdam
Germany’s foremost flower show is the Bundesgartenschau. The biennial horticultural event rotates hosts – 2011 was in Koblenz, 2013 will be in Hamburg. Armed with a hefty budget, the event makes extraordinary use of landscape architects to beautify vast public spaces and state parks from late spring to early autumn.
Where to stay: Park Hyatt Hotel Hamburg
Philadelphia International Flower Show
America’s biggest flower show takes place in the City of Brotherly Love every March and draws close to a quarter of a million visitors. Impressively, the Philadelphia International Flower Show’s patron, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, dates back to 1827.
Where to stay: Palomar Philadelphia Kimpton Hotel
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
As the surefire hub of world horticulture, London’s place on this list is a cinch. Home to Royal Parks and the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show ranks, by some estimates, as the largest on the planet. Held over a week in July, the show’s emphasis is on DIY, the culinary arts and environmental concerns.
Where to stay: Milestone Hotel & Apartments London
Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show
The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, on the other hand, is the archetypal, exemplary world horticultural exhibit. With roots in the mid-19th century, the “Great Spring Show” is the gold standard.
Where to stay: The Egerton House Hotel London
Did we forget someone? Contribute your voice to the flower show discussion below!