Floriade, Canberra’s world-class floral extravaganza, returns to Commonwealth Park for its 27th year in September, promising another fantastic program of events inspired by the 2014 theme: Passion. In addition to the outstanding flower displays, visitors to Australia’s largest celebration of spring can pick up gardening tips from experts; learn to recognise the different spice and herb profiles in wine and food; listen to inspiring musical performances; enjoy delicious culinary demonstrations by world-renowned chefs; and keep the youngters entertained with a fun line-up of activities.
From 13 September until 12 October, Floriade 2014 presents a vibrant and varied program of events over the four specifically-themed weeks, including Arts and Culture, Food and Wine, Family Fun, and Outdoors and Adventure.
Popular television personality, Indira Naidoo (pictured below), features as the headline presenter on the opening weekend Saturday, 13 September and Sunday, 14 September. Ms Naidoo is one of Australia’s most inspiring authors and will deliver presentations around her book, The Edible Balcony, in the Inspiration Hub on Sunday, 12 September.
Week 1 – Arts and Culture from Monday, 14 September to Sunday, 21 September. Resident gardener for Yours magazine, Charlie Albone (pictured below) is passionate about beautiful gardens. He loves plants and the outdoors and his objective is to create stunning gardens that are timeless, inspiring and enjoyable to spend time in. Join him on Saturday, 20 September from 11.00am to 12.00pm as he talks about his favourite gardens from around the world.
Unearth the capital’s most creative treasures as Floriade explores the theme of Arts and Culture. Immerse yourself in floral workshops and learn about the Japanese art of flower arranging, Ikebana. Discover your inner artist as you participate in a life drawing class, try your hand at zine-making or pick up an instrument and become a folk musician for the day. Sift through historic photographs and learn more about Canberra’s fascinating past. Floriade will also
celebrate the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship with two Australian citizenship ceremonies on 15 September.
Week 2 – Food and Wine from Monday, 22 September to Sunday, 28 September. Spoil your tastebuds and delight your palate as week two of Floriade focuses on Food and Wine. Sip some of the capital region’s most prestigious wines, discover the scientific reasons our tastebuds experience certain flavours, sample a selection of the best local produce and try some bush foods that can be found in our own back yard.
Popular celebrity chef, Miguel Maestre from Network TEN’s The Living Room (pictured at top of page), invites foodies to join him as he takes visitors on a Spanish culinary exploration. Food and Wine week is a unique and exciting part of Floriade this year, enticing food enthusiasts to delight their senses with wine and beer tastings, martini making, tapas and gastronomic talks, all for free.
Spice master, Ian 'Herbie' Hemphill from Herbie's Spices, will moderate panel discussions featuring the team from Canberra's Pialligo Estate (pictured below); together with Jim Lumbers from Lerida Estate and Dennis Hart from Dog Trap Vineyard, discussing the different profiles for spices and herbs found in wine and food.
Week 3 – Family Fun from Monday, 29 September to Sunday, 5 October. Floriade promises hours of entertainment for children and adults alike as the third week showcases all things fun for the family. Discover what prehistoric life was like with dinosaurs and fossils, travel through outer space or become a giant as you stroll through a miniature village.
World famous wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin will attend Floriade on the October long weekend, showcasing her passion through her Wildlife Warriors presentations in the Inspiration Hub on Saturday, 4 October and Sunday 5 October.
Week 4 – Outdoors and Adventure from Monday, 6 October to Sunday, 12 October. From spectacular garden beds to resourceful veggie patches and the capital’s beautiful spring weather, Floriade is the perfect time to rediscover Outdoors and Adventure.
During the final week of Floriade, audiences can get up close and personal with nature, learn about some of the
world’s most endangered animals, take part in sustainability workshops and grab gardening tips from experts in the field. Barry Du Bois, also from Network TEN’s The Living Room (pictured below), is an inspiration in his own right and is set to wow visitors with his DIY demonstrations.
Meanwhile, fitness enthusiasts can join in Floriade’s first ever outdoor boot camp at Stage 88 facilitated by former Raiders captain, Alan Tongue.
Nighfest is the ticketed twilight event which runs from 24 September until 28 September. Visitors can stroll amongst the flowerbeds, enjoying night markets and roving entertainment, live comedy and music, or simply sit and sip on cocktails.
For more information about Floriade Australia and Nightfest 2014, including the full program of events, please visit the Floriade web site.
Tell me dear (Aussie) readers, will you have the opportunity to visit Canberra for Floriade this year? I hope so! And for my friends from around the globe, do you have an annual flower festival like this in your part of the world?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.