When flowers invite to ball with blossoming victoria

When flowers invite to ball with blossoming victoria
Kaspars Garda, Rīga 2014 . Director of Botanic Garden Anta Sparinska (in the middle) with colleagues
04-07-2013 A+ A-
To make Riga even more splendid, Riga Botanical Garden organises annual Riga Flower Ball from 4 to 7 July. "A nice surprise is gonna come up. Amazon water lily – royal victoria – has grown in two great buds. We don't know for sure when those are gonna blossom out," says Anta Sparinska, director of Botanical Garden when speaking to "Rīga 2014" web portal during that short time she has managed to get free.

Following the fashion of flowers

Sparinska reminds this is the 13th year for arranging Flower Ball. "At first, it was held at Riga Latvian Society House. Then we were short of the space bringing more and more flowers. So, we figured out it would be best to held it at Botanical Garden. We organise it there for the fifth time. Therefore, we are prepared for 10 to 20 thousand guests this time. Though, it does not seem much in an open-stage place unlike Latvian Society House where visitors had to wait in a row to finally look at the flowers."


As every year, for this time visitors will be able to experience several unexplored ideas and things for Flower Ball. An exhibition by a 18th century botanic Jose Celestino Mutis presenting his drawings is organised with the help of Spanish Embassy together with bonsai trees exhibition with the support of Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian gardeners.

The main accent at the expositions is on summer and cut flowers, decorative shrubs, several growers offering their plants. "Our roses blossom pretty great. At first, we thought they would shed its blossoms in this hot weather, but then it got a bit colder. In this case, roses will please every guest," joyfully says Sparinska also adding that it's worth to walk until the pond where white and pink water lilies blossom.

"The main idea of Flower Ball is to show the best and most beautiful of the world of flowers, what's fashionable and what growers might like. We can not bring all the flowers from every part of the world anymore, just those who are attention worthy.

If someone asked me about the flower of the year, I would name barberries and astilbes. Those flowers have gained attention the most and therefore presented at the event. We will emphasize cut flowers for the first time, so visitors can evaluate what's new in this field. Fashion of flowers and traditions change, new sorts appear," says Sparinska.


As previously, various environmental objects, floral works will be showed at Flower Ball also including car decorations for the first time. "Florists who have proved their abilities and will during the previous years will take part presenting their own work. Of course, it's Song and Dance Festival time, some of them might be working elsewhere. But, still, a few might visit us, too."

Painting in phlox meadow is also considered as a new event for us this time.

"Everyone can come with an easel and colours as long as those look professional enough in order to paint garden flowers, corners, foregrounds and general sight also by completing some unfinished paintings.

Quiz games and masterclasses will be open for children and families in order to have as much fun times as possible also exploring new knowledges. It might be even some painted colour on a nose," laughs Sparinska adding she is not worried about the fact many Art Academy students might be there. "If one wishes to paint blossoming victoria, he can do so. Still, there won't be enough space for big easels, just a tiny one."

In a sense of Song Festival and Flower Ball

"We won't get along without a sense of Song Festival. Brass band will play here on Friday evening at 20.00, the concert is called "Vasaras saulrietā" ("On Summer Sunset"). In there, brass band from University of Latvia and "Sidrabskaņas" from Sigulda will play along. Latvian, Lithuanian and Bashkir folk ensembles will play on Saturday evening at Botanical Garden.

TV broadcast from Latvian Song and Dance Festival will be available all Sunday on big screens – from participants walk to closing concert at Mežaparks.

Meeting place is under the great Botanic Garden larch until midnight.

If someone wishes to dance during the concert of brass bands, they might do so, promises director of Botanical Garden saying ladies should really wear long flowered dresses. "It's a ball, after all!" she emphasizes.

Ready for The European Capital of Culture

"Botanic Garden gets more splendid from year to year. Besides, we are waiting a new reconstruction. Therefore, some better planting beds and footpaths will be created at the central part of the garden with the help of Teterovi Fund. Visitors will be able to see this new work next year. Accordingly, we will start to replant rhododendrons and peonies soon after Flower Ball ends," says Sparinska.

Botanical Garden promises to prepare well for The European Capital of Culture organising Flower Ball. "We wish to present our city guests how beautiful Botanical Garden really is showing Latvians not only as the nation of song and dance but also as decent plant growers. It's no wonder that a following line is written into our hymn: "Kur latvju meitas zied, tur latvju dēli dzied!" ("Latvian men sing along where Latvian women bloom!") Is it even possible not to bloom?" she says.


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