5 things you should know about Brussels Flower Carpet

15.08.2018 - Agne Steponaityte

It’s a numbers game

From August 16 to 19, 500,000 flowers will be arranged into 1 beautiful design that spans across 1,800 m2 in Grand Place, the centre of Brussels. Around 100 volunteers will spend about 8 hours assembling the giant flower carpet measuring 75 by 24 meters. First arranged back in 1971 it became a biennial event in 1986.

The reason why it’s a thing

Landscape architect Etienne Stautemas loved begonias. He worked with them all the time, making carpet-like arrangements all over Belgium. He figured that was the best way to promote his work and he was right. The unique idea worked quite well - people loved the sight of colourful arrangements. Soon enough, he found himself making a huge carpet for Grand Place...

The love for begonias took Stautemas all over the world and left a bright imprint in Brussels’ history.

Flemish Begonia - the flower of Flanders

Believe it or not, over 55% of world's tuberous begonias come from Belgium. More specifically, the eastern part of Flanders, the area around Ghent. According to the business specialists, as much as 95% of the flowers are exported to other countries including America and Japan.

In addition to their abundance, there are a few more reasons why they are so suited for making flower carpets. Like, they come in a great range of colours - from bright yellow to deep red. They are also rather resilient to transporting and harsher weather conditions and do not cause hay fever. Sounds like it’s a triple win for Begonias!

Marking the memorable anniversary with… more flowers!

This year Brussels’ Grand Place is celebrating 20 years of recognition as Unesco World Heritage site. For that reason the flowers will also adorn the square in front of Bourse. The exposition  “Monuments of Unesco in Flowers” will present floral arrangements by creators from Spain, Japan, Germany, Italy, Malta, and Mexico. They will demonstrate their unique working styles by depicting a Unesco monument.

The exhibition starts Friday, the 17th of August and lasts till Sunday the 19th.

This year’s design celebrates Guanajuato, Mexico

Each year the flower carpet is dedicated to a special occasion. This year it is celebrating the beautiful culture of Mexico’s region Guanajuato.

The design will feature a bird in the centre that’s typical to the region’s embroidery and emphasizes the natural wealth of plants and wildlife in the region. Plate-like ornaments represent the flavours of Mexican cuisine, sandy and yellowish colours are allusions to pottery that makes the area famous, and red, white and green stand for the colors of the Mexican flag. The two warriors on the side remind of the wars in the region while their shields depict the sun and fire.

More info: Official page

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