Garden festival

A garden / flora festival or exposition is a festival and exposition held to celebrate the arts of gardening, garden design, landscaping and landscape architecture. There are local garden festivals, regional garden festivals, National Garden Festivals and International Garden Festivals. The idea probably originated with Germany's Bundesgartenschau. The UK held five garden festivals in the period 1984–1992 but blundered through not planning an after-use for the festival grounds during their design and planning phase.

To qualify as an International Exhibition, an Expo must be recognised by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which was established by a diplomatic international Convention, signed in Paris, in 1928. Horticultural Expos can also be recognised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (IAHP / AIPH). To qualify as a National Exhibition, a garden festival must be recognised by a national government.

Because garden design is becoming more popular and featuring on TV, there is an ever-growing number of garden festivals: permanent and temporary, official and non-official. One of the best known is International Garden Festival held on a permanent site at Chaumont in France. Despite the name, Chaumont does not come within the BIE definition of an 'international' festival. Other shows feature garden design but describe themselves as 'flower shows'. The best-known example in this category, the Chelsea Flower Show, emphasises garden design. It spun off a Chelsea Fringe events in 2012 which featured a variety of unusual gardens and gardening across London.

List of International Garden Festivals (BIE recognised)

Country City Name Year Theme BIE
 GermanyRuhr Region from Dortmund to DuisburgGreen Ruhr 20272027Stadt der StädteYes
 NetherlandsAmsterdam-AlmereFloriade Amsterdam-Almere 20222022Growing Green CitiesYes
Qatar Doha Qatar Expo 2021[2] 2021 Green Desert, Better Environment Yes
 ChinaBeijingExpo 2019 Beijing China2019Live Green, Live BetterYes
 TurkeyAntalyaExpo 2016 Antalya2016Flowers and ChildrenYes
 NetherlandsVenloFloriade 2012 Venlo2012Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of lifeYes
 ThailandChiang MaiInternational Horticultural Exposition Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 20062006To Express the Love for HumanityYes
 GermanyRostockIGA Rostock 2003 – Internationale Gartenbauausstellung 2003 Hansestadt Rostock2003A Seaside Park. A new flowered worldYes
 NetherlandsHaarlemmermeerFloriade 20022002The contribution of the Netherlands horticulture and international horticulture in the quality of life in the 21st centuryYes
 ChinaKunmingInternational Horticultural Exhibition Kunming 19991999Man and Nature - Marching into the 21st centuryYes
 GermanyStuttgartIGA Stuttgart 93 – V Internationale Gartenbauausstellung1993City and Nature - Responsible ApproachYes
 NetherlandsZoetermeerFloriade The Hague-Zoetermeer 19921992Horticulture is being involved in a continuous process of renewal in the field of quality, technique, science and managementYes
 JapanOsakaInternational Garden and Greenery Exposition, Osaka, Japan 19901990The Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and MankindYes
 Great BritainLiverpoolInternational Garden Festival Liverpool '841984The progress accomplished by International and National HorticultureYes
 GermanyMunichIGA 83 München – IV Internationale Gartenbauausstellung1983International HorticultureYes
 NetherlandsAmsterdamFloriade Amsterdam 19821982International HorticultureYes
 CanadaMontrealFloralies Internationales de Montréal1980Relationship between man’s socio-cultural activities and his physical environmentYes
 AustriaViennaWIG 74 – Wiener Internationale Gartenschau 19741974International HorticultureYes
 GermanyHamburgInternationale Gartenbauausstellung 731973International HorticultureYes
 NetherlandsAmsterdamFloriade Amsterdam 19721972Efforts accomplished by International HorticultureYes
 FranceParisFloralies Internationales Paris 19691969Flowers of France and Flowers of the WorldYes
 AustriaViennaWIG 64 – Wiener Internationale Gartenschau1964International HorticultureYes
 GermanyHamburgIGA 63 – Internationale Gartenbauausstellung Hamburg 19631963Horticulture of all Categories from the Point of View of Economics and CultureYes
 NetherlandsRotterdamFloriade International Horticultural Exhibition 19601960International HorticultureYes

List of Other Garden Festivals

CountryCityFestival nameYear(s)DatesTypeAIPH
 United StatesColumbus, OhioAmeriFlora '921992April 3 – October 12National No
 FranceDijonFlorissimo2005 NationalB2No
 BrazilFestival de HolambraFlorissimo2005 NationalB2No
 ChinaShenyangInternational Horticultural Exposition 20062006May 1 – October 31InternationalA2/B1No
 SingaporeSingaporeSingapore Garden Festival2006
and biennially since
December 16–25Internationaln/aNo
 MyanmarPyin Oo LwinNational Kandawgyi Gardens2005–2017DecemberNationalN/ANo
 FranceDijonFlorissimo2010March 11–21National No
 Republic of ChinaTaipeiTaipei International Flora Exposition2010–2011November 6 – April 25InternationalA2/B1No
 AustraliaMelbourneMelbourne International Flower and Garden Show2011March 30 – April 3Internationaln/aNo
 ChinaXi'anInternational Horticultural Exposition 20112011April 22 – October 28InternationalA2/B1No
 South KoreaSuncheonSuncheon International Garden Expo(Korea)2013April 20 – October 20InternationalA2/B1No
 ChinaJinzhouInternational Horticultural Exposition 20132013May 10 – October 31InternationalA2/B1No
 ChinaQingdaoQingdao International Horticultural Exposition 20142014April 25 – October 25InternationalA2/B1No
 FranceDijonFlorissimo2015MarchNational No
 ChinaTangshanTangshan International Horticultural Exposition 20162016May – OctInternationalA2/B1No[5]
 Republic of China Taichung 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition 2018 Nov. 3, 2018-Apr. 24, 2019 International A2/B1 No

See also


  • Andrew C. Theokas Grounds for Review: The Garden Festival in Urban Planning and Design (Liverpool University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-85323-539-2)


  1. "International Horticultural Exhibitions". Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  2. Expositions, Bureau International (7 June 2019). "Qatar develops "Green Desert" vision for Horticultural Expo 2021 Doha". BIE. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  3. "International Horticultural Exhibitions: History of exhibitions". AIPH. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. "International Horticultural Exhibitions". Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  5. "AIPH | Exhibitions, actual programme". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
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