Thursday, July 21, 2011

Floria 2011 - Roses are forever... but are they???

I had a chance to visit Floria 2011 at Precinct 2 Putrajaya on Sunday, which was the last day of the floral exhibition. The theme for this year was Roses are Forever. For me, roses do conjure up the sense of romance and love, and that of exquisite scents.  So it became a must go event once I came to know about it. Roses are bred in temperate countries, and most of them have been bred selectively so that the flowers are able to unfurl their buds with minimal warmth. Put those roses in the tropical heat, they they go from a bud to totally flat out in three days max. Hence if the theme was roses, one would have to view the thematic display latest by the third day.  Unfortunately, due to work and a big distraction (though I was more looking forward for that distraction), I was prevented from going on the first 3 days. So when I went on the last day, I wasn't hoping much and was more interested in getting grafted trees for pot planting.

A yellow rose making a statement at Floria 2011.

When I reached Precinct 2 in the vicinity of the exhibition area, the first thing that hit me was the number of people busily carting plants and flowers that they have bought to their vehicles. One may be mistaken that Klang Valley folks have a serious gardening culture, or that the sellers were slashing down prices so drastically that everything was worth buying. Nay, Malaysians as a whole do not have the gardening culture. Ask them if they know the methods of propagating a certain plant, or how you should trim the plants after flowering, or what fertilisers should or should not be used for a particular plant at a particular stage and nine out of ten times you will draw a blank face. We have a buy, display and toss away culture. Hell, even the municipal councils are doing that with the flowers on road dividers. Anyhow, back to Floria, since it was the last day, I wasn't expecting the roses to do well. Despite my great adoration for roses, I think they are unsuitable as a floral exhibition theme in the tropics, unless you do it in the highlands. However, I was wonderfully surprised to find that the miniature roses were still doing well, and working their charm on the visitors.

Miniature roses.

Some of the rose beds in front of the Floral Pavilion weren't too good, and looked kind of messy. But the Solenostemon (formerly Coleus) beds were dazzling, and so were the Impatients (busy lizzies), chrysanthemums and petunias. Even the orchids were lending their weight in captivating the eyes and also the cameras of visitors.

Busy Lizzies dazzling the eyes of visitors.

Beds of Solenostemon (Coleus) and Chrysanthemums.

A closer view of the Solenostemon and Chrysanthemum bed.
Lovely orchids on display.

Petunias by the Floral Pavilion.

A bed of not so happy roses standing under the tropical heat.

The Floral Pavilion had many rose themed floral arrangements, and despite the air-conditioning, a large number of the roses were wilted or smelt like they were rotting away. There was an aroma garden setting where there were one was of roses, and the other of tuberose and lilies. Guess which one still held on to their scents on the last day of the exhibition - the lilies and tuberose.

Large yellow Chrysanthemums floating on a water bowl at the entrance of the Floral Pavilion.

A large display made with roses placed on glass vials.

The Javanese wedding arrangement was a good combination of the woven coconut fronds and roses, and looked stunning. There were many notable wedding dais designs with interesting use of flowers.

Part of the Javanese wedding display utilising roses and woven coconut fronds.

Upper section of the Javanese wedding arrangement.

Interesting use of roses in tall glass containers.

The display for fine dining floral arrangements were quite interesting, and whilst some were just the standard floral arrangements for table, there were a few notable ones with good usage of containers and roses. There were also other arrangements using roses and vegetables as well as the usual array of floral arrangements on display. Just by the exit, there was a stall that sold roses imported from Kenya, and they were lovely roses.

Fine dining display by Shangri-La Putrajaya.

Love the way the white roses are placed in the shallow container with a banana leaf wrap.

The garden bazaar sold everything from plants to fruit trees in pots to bonsai to orchids, farm machinery, crafts and most definitely roses. Besides that, there is an orchid competition display, just like in the previous Floria. The double and triple petaled Adeniums were going like hot cakes, even at the high prices. I guess novelty has its advantages.

People were buying plants like there was no tomorrow. Well, indeed tomorrow the bazaar won't be around anymore as this was the last day of the exhibition.

Roses are red...well candy striped to be exact.

A bonsai Melaleuca for sale. Look at the price tag!
The dainty Ionopsis standing out with a fiery red Renanthera in the background.

Another Melaleuca bonsai for sale. How I wish it's not about the money, money, money.

Adeniums for sale. Love the yellow ones.

Orange Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) on display.

Spathoglottis kimballiana.

The floral exhibition as a whole was good despite using a rather difficult theme of roses in our tropical weather. I am sure the number of visitors both local and foreign must be staggering (especially the local visitors).  In the end, I only bought a pot of Vietnamese mint/coriander, better known locally as daun kesum (Persicaria odorata) as I am prone to killing them by allowing the plant to dry out.

Hopefully the next Floria will be even more exciting and perhaps a more sensible choice of theme flower. The answer to the question of the entry title is perhaps roses are forever, but the blooms do not last a whole week under the hot tropical weather. Click here to see the previous year's Floria (Floria 2010)