As Spring Continues to Bloom, as Warmer and Longer Days Approach, Willwork Exhibit & Event Services Takes a Look at a Selection of the World’s Best Flower Shows

Flower Carpet of Brussels, in 2016, at the La Grand Place in Brussels (image credit: Jami 430)

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”

REGINALD HEBER

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in exhibition services and event project management.

Founded in 1987, Willwork is in its fourth decade in business.

Willwork likes to use this space to discuss all types, all aspects, of events and shows and exhibitions and meetings.  We like to be timely and current in our commentaries and reflections.

Now that we are in April, and 17 days beyond the calendar launch of spring (March 20 this year) – and with the woods and waterways around the Willwork corporate office having, within the past few days, come alive with the sound which for many truly marks the advent of spring: that of spring peeper frogs sounding their sleigh-bell-ringing chorus – we thought it appropriate to do a call out and feature here today a selection from the world’s more renowned and established flower shows.

Many of the international all-star flower shows are held in March (and some in February), and are out ahead of the day on the calendar that spring begins – with this scheduling one of anticipation and hope and the foretelling of increasing warmth and longer days.

Among those shows, here listed with their 2018 dates, are the Philadelphia Flower Show (March 3-11), the largest indoor flower show in the world; the Hong Kong Flower Show (March 16-25); Canada Blooms (March 9-18) in Toronto; and the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show (March 9-11).

Then there is the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show in Melbourne, Australia, held for five days starting, depending on the year, in either late March or early April, which in the Southern Hemisphere marks the advent of fall.  This year, the Melbourne International Garden & Flower Show ran from March 21 through March 25.

But many flower shows are ongoing, or have not yet opened their 2018 edition.

Artist rendering of the David Harber and Savills Garden, one of the Show Gardens in the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

One of those shows is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which promotes itself – and it just might be speaking the truth – as the “world’s most prestigious flower show.”  It certainly is the most prestigious flower show in the United Kingdom, one attended by horticultural and landscape enthusiasts and students from around the globe.

Beginning in 1862, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) held annually, for 26 years, in the Kensington section of London, what was then called the Royal Horticultural Society Great Spring Show.  In 1888, the show was moved to the Temple area in central London where it stayed until 1912 when the show was relocated to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the Chelsea neighborhood of London.  This site has been the home of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which has been held annually in May, with the exception of two years (1917-1918) during World War I, and the years of World War II.  Over that period the show ran for four days, until 2005, when another day was added.

Every year, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show hosts about 157,000 visitors.  The dates for this year’s show are May 22-25.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Selection of rose varieties on display at the 2015 Portland Rose Festival’s Spring Rose Show (image credit: Mike Darcy)

The largest and longest-running rose show in the United States is the Spring Rose Show, one of the events of the Portland Rose Festival conducted every year, with the opening date usually a day in late May or early June, and with a run of two to three weeks.  Started in 1907, the Portland Rose Festival promotes Portland, OR and the surrounding region.  This year the festival will be held over a longer stretch, with the first event, the Rose City Sing-Off, to be held tomorrow, and the concluding event, the Cambia-Portland Classic, an LPGA golf tournament, which will be held from August 30 through September 2.

Actually, the Spring Rose Show is older than the Portland Rose Festival, and celebrates its 130th annual installment in 2018.  Following is some information on the Spring Rose Show, which this year runs for two days, Thursday, June 7, and Friday, June 8:

“Each year, the Lloyd Center hosts the Annual Spring Rose Show, the largest and longest-running rose show in the nation. The exquisite beauty and fragrances of this yearly show emanate from more than 4,000 blooms. Entry is open to anyone, and all entrants are encouraged. Rose growers from across the Pacific Northwest participate, and some 6,000 spectators from across the country are expected to visit this year’s Spring Rose Show. Sparkling trophies go to those entrants who grow the most beautiful roses.”

Flower Parade at Festa Da Flor Da Madeira (image credit: Festa Da Flor Da Madeira)

Festa Da Flor – Madeira (The Madeira Flower Festival), with its origins going back to the mid 1950s, is held annually in spring in Funchal, the largest city in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, located in the north Atlantic Ocean.  April 19 through May 6 are the 2018 dates for the festival.

The Madeiran islands were long known, collectively, as the “Island of Flowers,” a title inspired by the experience of tourists visiting the islands and seeing the busy trade of vendors selling flowers, and how it was a custom of the residents of Madeira to fill their homes with fresh flowers.  Contributing to the flower culture of Madeira is that its climate is hospitable to healthy growth of both tropical and cold weather plants.

It only makes sense, and it is only right, that Madeira would have a great flower festival.

And Festa Da Flor Da Madeira is not just about flowers, for it is a celebration of spring, and of Madeira, with many activities, including parades and music and acrobats, and in which is highlighted the history and food and culture of the islands.

The Singapore Garden Festival, a yearly event, is not a spring production, but one of summer – so close enough.  It is also young in that the inaugural year of the Singapore Garden Festival was 2010.

But, for sure, the Singapore Garden Festival is already a premier international happening, and the organizers of the festival – Gardens by the Bay and the National Parks Board of the Government of Singapore – have full intentions of building on its prestige and renown.

A Landscape Garden at the 2016 Singapore Garden Festival (image credit: LONELY TRAVELOG)

“Festival Highlights”– with July 21 through August 3 this year’s dates – are the Landscape & Fantasy Gardens, Floral Windows to the World, Balcony Gardens, Orchid Extravaganza, and Vibrant MarketPlace.

A post dedicated to the world’s best flower shows has to include the Flower Carpet of Brussels, a flower exhibit and extravaganza – yes, an actual carpet … a magnificent carpet … of flowers – which, since 1971, has been created every two years in August in the La Grand Place, the historic and classical square in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Among so much that is remarkable about the Flower Carpet of Brussels is that it is installed in four hours by an all-volunteer crew.  Indeed, unto itself, the construction and planting of the carpet is a fascinating draw for spectators.

In 2018, the installation of the carpet will take place from 8 am to 12 noon on August 16.  After completion of the Flower Carpet, the exhibition will be open to the public later that day from 1 to 6 pm, followed at 10 pm with an opening sound-and-light show.  The Flower Carpet will also be open for viewing On August 17 and 18, with sound and light shows on both days at 9:30, 10:00, and 10:30 pm.

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Flowers transmit feel-good and inspiration.

They do so when we encounter and mingle with them in the untamed or lightly-tamed outdoors … or in our home garden … or in public parks.

They do so when they are exalted and featured in the designs and presentations of grand and famous flower shows.

Days are getting longer, and nights shorter, and temps are rising.

And nature, as it always does, fulfills its promise – and continues its awakening and efflorescence of color … and its blooming and renewal.