Australia – Day 12 – Canberra (part 2)
It was September and it was Spring in Australia. It’s now April and it is Spring in California (I mean the Northern Hemisphere). Yes, that is how behind I am with my Australia trip.
“Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. It showcases one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park and entry is free. The event welcomes more than 400,000 local, interstate and international visitors each year.” (source)
And we just happened to be in Australia, so Auntie decided to make a day trip out of Canberra from Sydney. After visiting the Parliament House, we headed to Floriade. It’s free but parking isn’t, you just need to pay for a spot in one of several parking lots nearby. We got really really lucky after circling a few times in the Action Park-Parking. A family was leaving and they had over an hour on their parking and gave it us. Free parking for us!
We walked across Commonwealth Avenue and entered through the Regatta Point Entry.
It wasn’t too crowded that day, I’m guess that’s because it was a weekend (so it was definitely full of tourists?). As we entered, everyone was given a little pack of seeds and a little map. I don’t have much of a green thumb so I didn’t keep the seeds (plus can I bring that home?)
There were several tents with vendors, carnival rides, etc. but we skipped that. I was more excited to go see the flowers.
“The Reflection Wall” was the official 2015 theme, which commemorates 100 years of Anzac (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). The “reflection” board looks really cool from far away. Close up, it is composed of large foam boards and each letter of the word “reflection” is a mirror. Anyone can place a red poppy on the foam board, creating the beautiful red sprinkles on the “reflection” board.
And in commemorating Anzac, each of the 11 different flowerbeds are themed accordingly. The very first flowerbed we saw “The Rising Sun.”
The Rising Sun – “For more then a century, the ‘rising sun’ motif has formed an integral part of the badge worn by Australian soldiers. These badges have become widely associated with the spirit of the Anzacs.”
Wattle sprig – “Sprigs of wattle, a native Australian plant, were sold during the First World War to raise money for the war effort and the Red Cross. In modern times wattle sprigs are worn to remember the fallen, which is notably done on Anzac Day.”
This bed immediately answered my question as to why poppies were being added to the the “reflection board.”
“The poppy – seen in the middle of the bed – has become a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who died during wartime. The outer part of the bed is surrounded by a wreath of rosemary, which is a common symbol of remembrance and grows wild in the Gallipoli peninsula.”
I was originally kind of disappointed to see the sad patchy green around the edge of the bed until I read the description. At first look, I just is spring not quite here yet? Why are these flowers blooming yet?
Eternal Flame – “The eternal flame is a symbol of remembrance that expresses the everlasting gratitude a nation feels for its fallen. There is an Eternal Flame in the Pool of Reflection at the Australian War Memorial. It is flanked by the bronze Roll of Honour, which lists more than 102,800 Australians who have died in war.”
I actually got a picture of a better view of the flowerbed design. Do you see the flame?
My favorite flower bed is composed of a sea of tulips.
Love letters – “This bed is representative of the important links troops had with their friends and families at home. Represented in the foreground are the pyramids of Giza, which were close to Mena Camp in Egypt where the Anzacs were stationed before going off to fight in the Gallipoli campaign.”
I was viewing it from the top (or the back?) which is made up of the yellow tulips to create the yellow background of the “Love Letter” image.
The “Love Letter”flowerbed was located on the opposite end of the are where there the “Rising Sun” and “Reflection Wall” board are located and in front of the ferris wheel.
In the sun, the yellow tulips were translucent and absolutely stunning.
Their are more flowers then just the major flowerbeds shown on the map. There are smaller flower displays and random flowerbeds throughout the park.
After seeing flowerbeds full of patches of the same flowers in the same colors, it was refreshing to see a rainbow flower bed.
It looked like a great place for families to enjoy a sunny spring day. Apart from the carnival rides, there cute cubby houses that line one side of the area we were wandering (sorry not pictured).
We actually did not wander very far through Floriade. We simply wandered around the main cluster of flowerbeds. Of the 11 flowerbeds listed, we saw 8. Check out the descriptions of the rest of the flowerbeds.
Because of allergies, Auntie decided to stay at the park near the parking lot to wait for us. She said she’s been to Floriade and knew we would really enjoy it but it wasn’t worth it for her to go.
We decided to spend more time with Auntie, after seeing a lot of flowers. We went back toward the parking lot to meet up with Auntie grabbed a quick lunch then headed to the Australian War Museum (flowers for mom, and war museum for dad).