Floriade 2012: World Horticulture Festival

It’s the return of the once-in-a-decade Netherlands flower fest, the Floriade 2012 World Horticulture Expo. With 1.8m bulbs planted across 44 hectares, and more than two million visitors expected over a six-month run, this is one of the gardening world’s stratospheric events. Here’s the view from the opening week. Photograph: Ermindo Armino/AP, Paul Raats/EPA, Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images.

A field of flowers at Floriade in Venlo, the Netherlands, where the sixth edition of the festival has opened.

A close-up of orchids. The event falls once every decade, with more than two million visitors expected over a six-month period.

In all, 1.8m bulbs have been planted across the exposition’s 44-hectare (108-acre) grounds, complementing 190,000 perennial flowering plants, 18,000 shrubs, 15,000 hedge plants and 3,000 trees.

Close-up of a tulip patch.

The Dutch agriculture pavilion. More than 100 participants, often countries or regions, have set up displays showing off some of their best-known foliage and the latest national trends in plant care and display.

The Indonesian contribution, featuring architecture from Bali, Java and Sumatra.

A close-up showing some of the striking colours on display.

The Spanish pavilion, constructed predominantly from waste materials, showcases horticulture from 10 different regions of the country using a multisensory display and even local dishes.

A close-up from the Indonesian section.

A Buddha statue in the Indonesian area.

A blossoming tree.

Floriade’s ‘innovation tower’, with passing gondolas.

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