Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
Enjoy the best of Floriade from home
While Canberra is in full bloom in October for its annual Floriade festival, this year it could be easier than ever to visit, right from your home.
With the traditional format of the event not proceeding in traditional fashion, it's still possible to enjoy the beautiful blooms of this colourful event no matter where you are, with a variety of virtual, on-demand experience available this year.
From 12 September to 11 October 2020, floral fans across the nation can connect with the festival online as the one million bulbs and annuals planted across the capital's city and suburbs create a tulip trail for the Canberra community.
There's no need to miss out on this year's Floriade in Canberra, in fact you don't even need to leave home. Image credit Rachel Tagg for Visit Canberra
Some of the online experience virtual festival attendees can enjoy this year are the Floriade Marketplace where you can stock up on Australian designed products, gardening delights and spring-inspired eats.
The marketplace will be showcasing more than 80 traders and foodies and fans can enjoy the taste and style of Canberra's spring celebration delivered straight to their door.
Participants can also tune in to Florade Life, a range of on-demand videos, including the Let's Talk series with ABC Canberra broadcaster Dan Bourchier where conversations cover everything from gardening to food sustainability.
The first episode will feature a local panel including Adam Shipp, a Wiradjuri man from Yurbay, and Tracey Bool, a Canberra horticulturalist. Listeners can learn about the amazing bush and wild food you can find in your local area and the health properties of native plants.
And the kids won't miss out either as a range of activities will also be available for the little ones including colouring-in sheets designed by local artists to provide fun for the young and young at heart. Try your hand at designs by Graffik Paint, who are the creatives behind many murals in Canberra, Yarrudhamarra Creations, run by proud Wiradjuri woman Kristie Peters, or whimsical and adventurous creations by Paul Summerfields.
Also for kids, The Beanies will delve into the world of bees, art, gnomes and planting. This four-part video series released weekly is a musical adventure for those with big imaginations and features lots of engaging activities to do at home in time with The Beanies.
And the workshops aren't just for the wee ones either, as a range of workshops will be available to keep your gardens green and minds inspired, including permaculture workshops, nature journaling tips, worm farms and composting tricks, pilates classes and more.
Why not join Narelle Phillips, a local Floristry teacher, to learn how to create a unique and long-lasting arrangement for the home using seasonal wildflowers complemented by dried materials?
Discover what tools and materials to use, how to select a suitable container, how to secure and stabilise the arrangement, as well as some cheeky tricks of the trade in this wildflower workshop.
Explore the full program and plan your virtual 2020 spring celebration at floriadeaustralia.com
Floriade looks forward to celebrating with everyone again in 2021 (11 September to 10 October 2021), public health restrictions permitting.