Belgium Flower Carpet
Every two years since the 1970s, gardeners and volunteers in Belgium have merged the decorative arts and grand, historic architecture by squishing together hundreds of thousands of begonia flowers to make a “live” rug in the middle of Brussels’ Grand-Place, the city’s central plaza.
Officially, the first Floral Carpet as its present-day form was created in 1971 on the Grand-Place by the landscape architect E. Stautemans, but, in fact, it was the culmination of a whole series created in various towns in Flanders.
E. Stautemans, who was born in Zottegem, and graduated from the Ghent Horticultural College, had been experimenting since the early 50′s making simple small carpets, more like rugs, mainly consisting of begonias (in Knokke, Oudenaarde, Sint-Niklaas, Lille…).
He very quickly realised that floral carpets would be an excellent vehicle for the promotion of his beloved begonias which he had always worked with, both technically, economically and aesthetically.
After years of attempts and calculations, this architect, who was inventive and imaginative, and knew how to make the most of the numerous resources of begonias, became an expert in the creation of superb floral carpets with sophisticated colors and complicated designs.
His fame spread and he was asked to make carpets not only in Belgium (Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Ypres, Courtrai, Hasselt, Tongres, Mons, Durbuy, …) but worldwide (Cologne, Hamburg, Luxemburg, Paris, London, Breda, Amsterdam, The Hague, Vienna, Valencia, and as far afield as Buenos Aires and Colombus, Ohio).
Some of these carpets were bigger than the ones created in Brussels (77 x 24 m), like the 1973 masterpiece at Sint-Pietersplein, Ghent that reached a gigantic 164 x 42 m.
However, as E. Stautemas himself says, “Nowhere is the carpet more beautiful and distinguished than in the unique, ancient surroundings of the Grand-Place in Brussels”
Planning for the Flower Carpet Festival begins a year out, but thanks to hundreds of volunteers, the actual laying down of the carpet—with each flower placed by hand—takes only about four hours. So how many begonias are there? Well, to keep the carpet from scattering away with the wind, each bloom is packed in snugly, with about 300 begonias per square meter—so that’s about 750,000 flowers for the whole rug. It all started with a landscape architect (and veritable begonia devout) in 1971, and ultimately grew into a traveling exhibition; flower carpets have been rolled out in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Buenos Aires. Above: 2010’s carpet, meant to honor the appointment of a Belgian, Herman Van Rompuy, as president of the European Union’s European Council. The EU logo is visible in the middle, and in the carpet’s corners are images of Saint Michael striking down a dragon, apparently a symbol of Belgian strength and protection.
More beautiful shots, below or to order flowers online and some more interesting floral related information, visit us at Mayflower.in
Images of Belgium Flower Carpet