Every other year, since 1971, the Grand Place courtyard turns into a Carpet of Flowers to promote the lovely begonia. Chosen above all for its qualities of robustness, resistance to bad weather and strong sunshine, the begonia guarantees the long life and freshness of the carpet. It also provides a rich range of colors - from vivid colors to delicate pastel shades, with in between, the parti-colored and white flowers which reflect the light so well.
The 700,000 begonias that make up the carpet of flowers were all grown by horticulturalists from the area around Lochristi in East Flanders. Around 1,000 volunteers worked on the impressive display of floral art.
2008's carpet was based on the patterns of the 17th Century French Savonnerie tapestry. How is this done? A perforated plastic with the design on it is laid down and the spaces between the floral design areas are filled with rolled turf. The stems are packed so tightly, 300 stems per square meter, directly onto the stone, so they won't be blown away. No soil is used at all. The next display will be August 15th-17th, 2010.
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