It will be bulbs in the burbs this year after Floriade fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the ACT Government to cancel the annual Commonwealth Park celebration of spring that usually attracts half a million visitors for four weeks from mid-September.
Instead, the government decided to spread the colour across the ACT and include the community in planting out the flowers that would have filled Commonwealth Park.
As Canberra sees light at the end of the winter tunnel, a million bulbs and annuals are being planted to create a tulip trail through the suburbs and city.
In beds, boxes and pots, Floriade is going to the people in a celebration of community spirit and resilience that Canberrans have displayed during recent challenging times.
Floriade: Reimagined (12 September to 11 October) features 11 temporary garden beds and 19 large floral displays in planter boxes and pots being created by Floriade’s horticultural team, led by Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) in collaboration with a number of local suppliers who would normally be working on the event in Commonwealth Park.
Nearly 100 community groups, not-for-profit organisations, schools, churches, national attractions and public institutions such as universities, hospitals and the hospice have also received about 300,000 bulbs and annuals to plant.
The tulip trail will feature four types of plantings:
- Floriade Boxed – blooms planted in large planter boxes
- Floriade Community – blooms planted by local community groups
- Floriade Planted – blooms planted in temporary garden beds
- Floriade Potted – blooms planted in pots and wheelbarrows.
Canberrans wanting to follow the tulip trail and enjoy the various floral shows across the city will be able to locate each planting on the Floriade: Reimagined interactive map.
Listings for larger plantings specify which kind of bulbs and annuals feature in the displays so visitors can plan their spring experience around their favourite blooms.
There will still be some blooms in Commonwealth Park with a planting at Stage 88, but come September there will be splashes of welcome colour at a myriad of locations big and small across Canberra.
Planting sites include some of Canberra’s major tourist attractions and popular public places in the suburbs, including local shops.
Organisers say other much-loved aspects of the festival will be adapted to online formats such as podcasts and videos.
NightFest will return but it will be a one-night-only experience on Friday, 2 October, and more details will be announced soon.
Floriade: Reimagined is a free festival but there will be some ticketed events, such as NightFest and exclusive workshops.
Hopefully, Floriade will be able to return to Commonwealth Park next year and again welcome interstate and international visitors to celebrate with the Canberra community.
Planning is already underway for Floriade 2021 (11 September to 10 October 2021) and the format, including whether it will feature plantings in the suburbs, will be decided by the feedback from this year’s event, as well as public health regulations in effect next year.
The community groups that feature in Floriade: Reimagined, listed by location, are:
- AINSLIE: Ainslie School
- BARTON: YWCA Currawong Early Childhood
- BELCONNEN: Belconnen Basketball Stadium, Emu Creek Park Planting Group, YMCA Day Care Centre
- BRADDON: Merici College
- BRUCE: University of Canberra
- CALWELL: Calwell Shops
- CAMPBELL: Campbell Primary School
- CANBERRA: Australian National University
- CHIFLEY: Chifley Shops
- CHISHOLM: Good Shepherd Community Church
- COOMBS: Stromlo Cottage
- CURTIN: Curtin Shops Precinct, Parish Transfiguration North Woden
- DEAKIN: Urban Education
- DICKSON: Blue Gum Preschool, Malabar Gardens
- DOWNER: Downer Community Square and Shops
- FARRER: Farrer Shops
- FLYNN: Early Childhood Centre
- FORREST: Forrest Tennis Club, Presbyterian Church of St Andrew, St Christopher’s Cathedral
- FYSHWICK: Canberra City Farm
- GARRAN: Woden Valley Child Care Centre
- GOOGONG: Googong Community Garden
- GOWRIE: Holy Family Church
- GUNGAHLIN: Winyu Early Childhood Service YWCA, YMCA Day Care Centre
- HACKETT: Blue Gum Community Playgroup, Blue Gum Community School, Gilruth Park, Hackett Shops
- HALL: Victoria Street
- HOLDER: YMCA Day Care Centre
- HOLT: Pegasus Riding for the Disabled, YMCA Day Care Centre
- HUGHES: Hughes Community Centre, Hughes Preschool
- HUME: Alexander Maconochie Centre
- JAMISON: YMCA Day Care Centre
- KALEEN: Kaleen Primary School
- KAMBAH: Diversity ACT Community Services, Kambah Community Garden, St Thomas The Apostle’s Primary School
- KINGSTON: Canberra Baptist Church, Green Square
- LYONS: Lyons Early Childhood School, Lyons Shops
- MELBA: Mount Rogers Primary School, Sunroom for Seniors
- NARRABUNDAH: Marymead
- NICHOLLS: Federation Square Gold Creek, Nicholls Early Childhood Centre
- PAGE: Mosaic Baptist Church
- PALMERSTON: Palmerston District Primary School
- PEARCE: Pearce Shops
- QUEANBEYAN: St Gregory’s Primary School
- RED HILL: Latin American Cultural Centre
- REID: Reid Early Childhood Centre
- SCULLIN: Scullin Shops and Street Libraries
- SPENCE: Possums Playschool
- STIRLING: Marymead’s ‘MULCH’
- SWINGER HILL: Swinger Hill Shops
- TAYLOR: Margaret Hendry School
- TORRENS: Torrens Shops
- TUGGERANONG: Tuggeranong Arts Centre; Tuggeranong Uniting Church
- TURNER: German Scout Hall
- WATSON: Majura Primary School, Youth with a Mission Community Garden
- WESTON: Featherston Gardens, Perinatal Wellbeing Centre, Streeton Drive, Weston Creek Orchard
- YARRALUMLA: Yarralumla Shops, Yarralumla Uniting Church, YMCA Sailing Club.