Sunday, 15 April 2012

Haifa International Flower Show 2012

Passover has ended. The kids went back to school today and the hubby to work. The festival started on Shabbat and the first and seventh days are observed as holy days and full days of rest. The fun really began on the intermediate days, Chol HaMoed (the non-holy part of the festival when we are permitted to do many activities but should still try to avoid work). On Sunday morning we headed north to Haifa, to visit the Haifa International Flower Exhibition held in the Hecht Park, by the beach. A flower exhibition used to be an annual event in Haifa for many years, but this was the first to be held in 19 years and the largest ever to be held in Israel.
The exhibition was proving to be so popular that the queues were already very long when we arrived. Additionally Israelis are not known for their patience or willingness to wait in line and I admit to losing my cool several times with people who saw it fit to jump in wherever they wished or to suddenly bring in another six or eight of their family members in front of us. Orderly it was not. However, none of it mattered. The exhibition was superb!
The exhibition consisted of nine large white domes temporarily placed amongst the green hills of the park. Inside the domes were thousands of flowers bursting with colour from all over the world, each arrangement boasting a different theme. Of course I had my favourites.
Dome #1: "World of Flowers" offered a colourful introduction to the show – an imaginary landscape inspired by flower fields (above). Orange, yellow and white lilies lined the dome, row after row, and the smell was exquisite, if slightly overpowering.
A street lined with cafes and shops was the theme of Dome #2: "Romantic Avenue". A jeans shop, 1960s-era bright pink car, a bed of roses and a bakery in which the baked goods were really flower arrangements, were all waiting to be explored. Dome #4: "Wild World", was so crowded that it was nearly impossible to shuffle through. It was worth a little bit of pushing though. The dome featured beautiful tropical flowers and bushes appearing to grow naturally on a mountain in the middle of the room. There were pods used in the arrangements that I have never seen before in my life!
Dome #5: the "Hanging Garden" was magical and a bit spooky at the same time. A garden of black trees grew from the ground and thousands of white and pink orchids graced the trees, placed in small glass bowls. We actually began our day at Dome #6 in a rather futile attempt to avoid the queues but, although made up of an interesting design of glowing green netted structures shaped like garlic bulbs hanging from the ceiling, it was not one my personal favourites. It was almost impossible to get close to these structures due to so many people trying to be photographed surrounded by flowers. The glowing nets were an interesting idea but not suitable for an exhibition of this scale.
Dome #8: "World of Water" (above) was a big hit with all my family! Bubbles floated all over the room and giant inflated Clown fish and flowers hung from the ceiling, giving the visitor the feeling of being underwater. A pirate ship with floral treasures sailed through a vast sea of thousands of multi-coloured gerberas.
And finally, Dome #9: "Land of the Rising Sun" (above), a Japanese themed dome and my absolute favourite! Oriental music played in the background and red anthuriums hung in vines from the ceiling. White origami doves were positioned below them, above a live fish pond, and a bridge over a lotus pond and floating flowers completed the picture.
Having grown up visiting flower shows - my Mum was a talented florist - and therefore privileged to have seen some of the very best, I did not have any great expectations about this exhibition. However, it proved to be a fantastic experience. The flowers were world-class and the park, with its own displays and trees, quite pleasant. The weather was good - Spring is the ideal time of year for this event, before it gets too hot for both people and flowers. The only downside was that it was way too crowded, but that's understandable, considering the quality of the exhibition. I look forward to visiting again next year.


Linda B said...

Lisa, looks like a great trip. The pics are beautiful.

Julie S said...

Wow, what amazing displays! Must have been a fantastic day.

Denise Kiggan said...

What gorgeous displays!

driftwood said...

oh wow, that looks like a really amazing floral display, just magical

dottycookie said...

Oh, the flower bakery just bowled me over!

Additionsstyle said...

Wow, it looks so amazing! I must have been a fantastic day.
Everyday Inspired

Miss Val's Creations said...

Wow! This exhibit looks so amazing! The peacock is my favorite. There is a flower show each year in Boston but it is no where near this stunning.