What happens when you take one million begonias, over 100 volunteers and one 15th century square and put them all together? A carpet measuring almost 2000m2 made entirely out of flowers of course. That’s right, it’s time for the impressive Brussels Flower Carpet to appear on the Grand Place once again for a few short days.
Every two years, the historic Grand Place in the centre of Brussels is covered in an elaborate design of begonias. The tradition dates back to 1971, when the landscape architect E. Stautemans installed the first flower carpet on the square. He had previously experimented with making simpler, small carpets, mainly consisting of begonias, in various towns across Flanders. Later he went on to design flower carpets around the world, some even larger than the one in Brussels.
The design takes months of preparation. Once ready, it is put into place in just one day by florists following a meticulous plan, placing each flower carefully to complete the enormous jigsaw puzzle. This year the City of Brussels has set up a webcam so you can watch the construction of the carpet live today.
Based on the theme of Africa, the 2012 carpet will recall designs from the tribes of Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Botswana, and Cameroon, and will incorporate begonias with barks, precious materials, sands, soils and pigments. To get the best view, visit the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) balcony between 9am and 11pm (until 6pm on Sunday) that overlooks the Grand Place (entrance €5, children free). It’s also worth a close up look to see all the detail of the carpet and access to the Grand Place itself is free.
The flower carpet opens tonight at 10pm and will last until Sunday, 19 August. If you visit in the evening, there’s a light and sound show at 10pm, 10:30pm and 11pm. And if you can’t make it to see the real thing this year, you can always go see the new miniature version at Mini Europe. 🙂
Images via Flower Carpet.