When it comes to tulips in the Netherlands, most people think of Keukenhof. But this year, there’s an event that most people don’t even know about…the Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo in Venlo. Heather Tucker looks at the annual Keukenhof and the Floriade event that takes place once every 10 years.
You can always tell when spring has arrived in the Netherlands. Not by the chirping birds in the blossoming trees nor by the warm, sunny days but because of the swarms of tour buses that hit the road, bursting at the seams with tourists, on their way to view the colorful bulb fields and the famous Keukenhof gardens.
If flowers and nature are your passion, then Keukenhof is worthy of your attention. But this year there is an even bigger and more extravagant event happening in the Netherlands. An event that while not quite a secret, is definitely less known to tourists. The name – Floriade.
Floriade is a world horticultural expo that takes place in the Netherlands only once in every 10 years. There are 66 hectares of Dutch soil divided into five uniquely themed flower worlds and then lavishly completed with a 30-metre high cable car system.
Entering into each of the themed sections – education and innovation, green engine, relax and heal, environment and the world stage show – aim to have you experiencing nature with your five senses in ever changing ways. For example, in the Green Engine area, which focuses on the complementary aspects of nature and industry, you can bid on your own flowers in an imaginary flower auction, learn how to make your very own stunning floral masterpiece or get your fingers dirty whilst planting a traditional Dutch tulip.
While visiting Floriade isn’t cheap at €25 for adults (€30 including the cable car) and €12.50 for children aged 4 to 12 (€25 including the cable car), you will at least be able to come home with some unique photographs of the Netherlands. Even better is that Floriade is open from April 5 to October 7, 2012, a full four months longer than Keukenhof.
The Floriade grounds are located in the city of Venlo at the intersection of the A73 and A67 motorways. Visitors coming by train will be able to alight at Venlo station and take a shuttle bus to the Floriade grounds.