THE 31ST annual Flóra flower show opened in Bratislava on April 24 with 150 exhibitors from Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, and Australia. Exhibitors from Slovakia prevailed, with about 120 of them showing the results of their horticultural and floral display work, including offerings from several gardeners’ schools. According to Katarína Kullová from the show’s sponsoring organisation, more than 50,000 visitors attended the international fair over its four days.
She called this year’s event “an ashen one” as it was shadowed by the closed skies throughout Europe from the ash generated by the volcanic eruption in Iceland which prevented aircraft from flying normally, causing havoc at airports and innumerable changes in flight schedules. Dutch exhibitors were prevented from flying to Bratislava and an Australian company that was participating in the fair for the second consecutive year managed to land just before the ban on flights.
The main “Flower of the Flóra” this year was supposed to be the rare Grevillea, an evergreen with blooming flowers from natural habitats in Australia, New Guinea, and New Caledonia. But the native plant did not arrive in Bratislava from Australia and instead had to be transported to the exhibition grounds by Italian exporters with some help from Dutch florists, Kullová said. Grevillea is also called Forest Lollipop, or Toothbrush, Kullová said, as reported by the SITA newswire.
The 4,000 square metres of outdoor exhibition space was used solely for flower cultivars. The inner exhibition areas at the Incheba Expo Centre, covering 7,800 square metres, were dominated by floral decorations as well as with fountains, garden furniture, grills, fireplaces, sprinkler systems and lawn designs. Visitors were able to buy cultivars, bulbs, gardening tools and other items at prices comparable to last year's.
Several competitions were part of the exhibition, such as the competition for Flower Tying and Arranging held on the opening day, and a competition for the most beautiful exposition as judged by a jury. Hungarian master florist Szabolcs Szentpéteri presented his artistic works, as did many Czech and Slovak professionals. Vladimír Ondrejčík of the Bonsai Centrum in Nitra was featured on April 24, showing interested visitors how to cut bonsais. On April 25 the Nobilis Cactus Growers’ Club discussed the horticulture of cacti and succulents.
3. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská