Lifestyle

If the Hong Kong Flower Show wasn’t enough...

The Hong Kong Flower Show, one of the major events organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, is held every year in March at Victoria Park to promote the art of horticulture. Its popularity has grown in recent years as hundreds of thousands of flower lovers flock to the park with professional cameras and mobile phones alike to take advantage of the Instagram-ready spring blossoms.

The Hong Kong show features a unique backdrop: the cityscape and its urban skyline. It made for a pleasant stroll among the exquisite potted plants, amazing floral arrangements and gorgeous landscape designs by local and overseas organisations. More than 350,000 flowering plants, including a field of tulips and 60,000 pots of antirrhinum magus, the theme flower of this year, were on display.

If you missed this year’s show, you can still chase the scent and colours of spring in flower shows across the globe in the coming months, on a much grander scale than our local version.

Keukenhof, Netherlands

Keukenhof in Lisse, the Netherlands, is Europe’s biggest flower garden. Designed in the English landscape garden style, the park covers 32 hectares with seven million flower bulbs planted each year. First opened to the public as a spring park in 1950, Keukenhof has grown into a world famous attraction with a special emphasis on flower bulbs. The sheer variety of immaculately grown flowers and plants, including 800 varieties of tulips, will set any flower lover’s heart aflutter.

Open now until May 16, Keukenhof this year pays tribute to The Golden Age of Holland. One of the highlights is a flower mosaic that depicts trade across the seas and the canal-side houses of Amsterdam. The mosaic covers 250 square metres, using 100,000 bulbs including tulips, grape hyacinths and crocuses.

The pleasant gardens of Keukenhof make it a perfect outing for horticulture enthusiasts, photographers as well as families. Besides the 32 hectares of flowers, there are special flower shows, inspirational landscape designs and events for children. It is easily accessible by public transportation from the city centre and airport of Amsterdam.

Chelsea Flower Show, London

The world’s best-known and most prestigious flower show unfolds in the last week of May at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea. Run by the charitable Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), it is both a showcase of garden design and a virtuoso display of horticultural skills.

At the heart of the show is the Great Pavilion, a huge undercover space for spectacular flowers and displays. Also drawing crowds are the show gardens. Leading garden designers from around the world compete for medals, especially the much-coveted Best in Show.

Chelsea Flower Show is also a quintessential showcase of British culture and creativity. Some of the jaw-dropping displays include photographic exhibits and a floral arch to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, the British Eccentrics Garden featuring bizarre garden gadgetry that comes to life every 15 minutes, an acoustic garden that plays music for visitors, as well as horticultural inspiration from around the world, including Jordan, the Netherlands, Cambodia, Japan, Chile and Australia. There is even a jazz concert every evening so visitors can wind it down with a glass of fizz, ending the day on a perfect note.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Also run by the RHS, the show takes place at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey in the first week of July. It is three times as big as the Chelsea show, with water gardens, conceptual gardens, giant floral marquees, pavilions, talks, demonstrations and a festival of roses, spread over 14 hectares of grounds. There is also live musical entertainment in the evening, culminating in a dazzling fireworks finale. The venue, Hampton Court Palace, is itself a big draw with its significance in Tudor history.

Singapore Garden Festival

Closer to home is the Singapore Garden Festival at the end of July at Garden by the Bay, Singapore’s horticultural themed destination that will set a stunning stage for the show. Visitors can expect to be treated to the best of tropical horticulture including tropical orchids and hybrids, as well as floral artistry with impressive structures.