Brussels Flower Carpet 2012 in African designs on the Grand Place
A flower carpet using designs from Africa has been created on the main square of the Belgian capital, Brussels.
Hundreds of thousands of flowers were used by the 120 volunteers who made the carpet on the Grand Place. The process took almost four hours.
Traditional patterns from Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and Botswana are displayed in the carpet.
A flower carpet was first installed at the site in 1971 and is re-created every two years.
“The design is very complicated this year because it is very sophisticated,” one of the organizers, Annette Katz, told Reuters.
The carpet will be on show until 19 August.
The famed flower carpet at Brussels’ Grand Place (Grote Markt) has been unfurled in anticipation of the city’s five-day celebration of floral decorations. The flower carpet has been a part of the Belgian capital city’s traditions since 1971, when the first such carpet, consisting of thousands of begonias, was laid out. Every year since then, in August, over 750,000 flowers (usually begonias) are packed together to form a carpet at the Grand Place.
The flower carpet is spread across almost 20,000 sq ft and is placed right in the center of the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which already draws thousands of tourists independent of the flower attractions.
The charming tradition of creating sophisticated flower carpet designs and vibrant colors is also seen as a celebration of the spirit of horticulture artistry. The techniques involved in the making of this floral tapestry reflect the mastery of hundreds of gardeners and horticulturists. According to the official website of the Grand Place flower carpet, the flowers are tightly packed, to prevent them from being blown away by the wind, but without the use of soil. Moreover, these flowers create their own microclimate.
“The spaces between the floral patterns will already have been filled with rolled turf. In heat waves, the turf has to be watered to prevent it from shrinking, but if the weather is too wet, the grass can grow 4 to 5 centimeters in 3 days,” a statement on the website reads.
Brussels’ Grand Place flower carpets are usually made of begonias because these flowers are known for their sturdiness and ability to survive bad weather. Few other varieties of flowers can retain their freshness to the degree the begonia can, for five days at a stretch. Given the fact that Belgium cultivates 60 million begonia tubers every year and is recognized as the world’s largest producer, the flower carpets in Brussels has also become a means to promote the begonia.
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