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Tulips at Floriade.
Tulips at Floriade.
Floriade in Canberra.
Catriona at Floriade.


Thursday, September 20, 2001
Don't miss being in Canberra as it shrugs off its winter coat and literally bursts into colour and fragrance.

Each year from mid-September to mid-October, Canberra shrugs off its winter coat and literally bursts into colour and fragrance. The 30-day festival of flowers is complemented by entertainment and events, and many people pay more than one visit, as the gardens constantly change.

This year's Floriade is celebrating the 20th century in bloom, and each decade will be recognised with a different display.

1900-1910 — Federation.
Red, white and blue plantings in the Edwardian style of standard cherries, the Centennial rose, tulips, iris, muscari and ipheon.

1911-1920 — World War I and Birth of the National Capital.
A network of gravel paths make a triangle and a blue lake surrounded by Cypress pines and flowers, and a large white cross of tulips and red poppies pay homage to Flanders fields. A yellow floral dove of hope with a red background of tulips and viola signifies the end of The Great War.

1921-1930 — Art Deco.
A Mondrian-style composition of 20 varieties of tulips, hyacinths, iris, narcissus, violas and bellis, planted in blocks and transecting lines.

1931-1940 — The Depression.
During this decade, the garden was used to supplement food supplies. Floriade remembers The Depression years with herbs, garlic, onions, lettuce, kale and a few old-fashioned succulents that were popular in that era.

1941-1950 — The War Years.
Large displays of tulips, iris and annuals portray the three main protagonists of World War II. The Allied forces are represented in bands of red, white and blue, and Japan and Germany are represented with the rising sun and iron cross.

1951-1960 — The Fabulous '50s.
Textile designer Marion Hall Best's optimistic and daring pinks, reds, whites and yellows are planted in chequer-board style, and an interpretation of the Sydney Opera House sails is shown in sweeps of cream and white tulips.

1961-1970 — Flower Power.
The days of caftans, headbands and bright colours are brought back in patterns of yellow and purple daisies, surrounded by orange tulips. Paisley shapes of calendula and primula add to the vibrancy.

1971-1980 — Rainbow Serpent.
Our Aboriginal heritage is portrayed in beds of tulips, violas and daisies blended with native plants.

1981-1990 — Celebration of a Nation.
Australia's bicentenary is remembered in a highly scented garden of hyacinths, ranunculus and narcissus in pastel yellows, pinks, blues and white in a stylised star shape.

1991-2000 — Keeping in Touch.
Communication — mobile phones, computers, e-mail, symbolised with black tulips, pink Angelique and orange dordogne, underplanted with bellis and viola to add colour and richness.

You can enjoy a stroll along the beautiful pathway of camellias, dogwoods and viburnum in the early days of Floriade, and towards the end of the festival, rhododendron azaleas burst into a blaze of colour.

There are plenty of activities for children, floral art and design competitions, demonstrations by garden personalities, music and dancing. A travelling film and sound show will screen old newsreels and films showing events of the last century.

The Marsh Gardens feature 20,000 exotics and shrubs, trees, water plants and perennials amongst streams and pools. A bed of orange, yellow and red mollis azalea flowers from September to November.

The Floriade Shop sells potted tulips, quality craft and gourmet produce, and in the Village you can stop for snacks, drinks and film.


Commonwealth Park in Australia's Capital Territory.


Floriade is open daily until October 14. Entry is free.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Canberra Visitors' Centre and General Tourist Information
330 Northbourne Avenue, Dickson 2602
Ph: (02) 6205 0044
Accommodation: Ph: 1800 100 660
Best Western: Ph: 131 779
Toowomba Carnival of Flowers: Ph: 07 4632 4877
Bowral Tulip Time: Ph: 1800 188 547
Mt Gambier Orchid Show: Ph: 008 8723 2953
Kings Park Wildflower Festival: Ph: 08 9480 3669
Tasmania is Blooming: Ph: 03 6230 8295
Tesselaar Tulip Festival: Ph: 03 9737 9811
This is a wheelchair friendly environment.

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