Floriade is here again and after a memorable snap freezing winter it is for Canberra the harbinger of all things Spring.
Indicators of the arrival are blossoms, wattle, pollen and sneezing; magpies swooping and outdoor eating and the air filled with the aromas of fertilizer and animal poo of course as Bunnings, et al, buzz with gardeners on a mission, but then when the sun shines and the temperature starts above freezing point we have those glorious days to enjoy.
Well after all that weekend football finals television is out of the way.
This year Floriade will be about Reflection. Not of the narcissistic kind you see in the beautiful Caravaggio painting of Narcissus gazing lovingly at his own reflection, but as a continuing theme from the centenary commemorations of Gallipoli and WW I and the remembrances that brings to mind, designed and recreated in the floral displays.
We take Floriade in our stride and mutterings of moving the event surface regularly at this time of the year but I’ve decided we should keep it at Commonwealth Park. Just like the great flower shows and displays around the world have settled into their places and spaces Floriade has too and its international appeal and central position at the heart of the city in Commonwealth Park has been providing revenue and tourist dollars since 1988. The expansion of the NightFest program is a bonus and while the weather variations can cause havoc on any day, when the sun shines we’re there in droves.
And in a moment of city pride I did harass Chief Minister Andrew Barr with my belief that Floriade doesn’t need an outsider to be the token star of the biggest show in town when we could have a local strutting the stage. Which is no reflection on the fascinating collection from past Floriades and the wonderful Gretel Killeen who is this year's star, but just a chance to celebrate a local. Who do you reckon would be the perfect Floriade ambassador?