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They say that gardeners are a patient lot and they must be because one of the world’s peak horticultural events is held only every 10 years. This year, the sixth Floriade was held in The Netherlands town of Venlo, close to the border with Germany, from April 5th to October 7th.

The theme of 2012 Venlo Floriade was “Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of life.” Five linking areas explored this:

- Relax & Heal: All about the senses, these Oriental-inspired exhibits  explored health and healing. Teas, herbs, a barefoot path, a Feel Good garden and another which were all about color and harmony.

- Environment: Indoors and Outdoors, the City and the Countryside, our environment sustains us, supports us, inspires us and affects our well-being and mood, so some famous landscape architects designed gardens for Floriade with ideas to take home to your everyday life.

- Green Engine: Nature and Industry working together for a vibrant and sustainable economy. The Villa Flora was a centerpiece here with its huge indoor flower show. This is where the history of Holland as a trader of tulip bulbs could really be appreciated.

- Education and Innovation: With a focus on the future and our need for innovation and sustainability, here you could've been inspired by new ideas, you could taste different fruits and vegetables or learned to combine them in taste sensations. There was even a Bee Pavilion to appreciate this small insect’s importance to our growing world.

- World Show Stage: Given the international nature of Floriade’s exhibits, it was important to also explore world food, arts and culture.

The site was a massive 163 acres (66 ha), 100 acres of which were used for the six months of Floriade displays. There is a 3,600 foot (1,100 meter) long cable car ride that helped you negotiate your way around and gave great views. Now that the Floriade is closed, much of the site will become Venlo Green Park, a huge new green business park built around the two Floriade buildings: Villa Flora and InnovaToren.

You could visit Floriade for a day, a week or get a season pass for the whole six months. Or, combined it with a visit to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, that other Dutch garden splendor.

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