This post is really overdue by about three months - which might just be a personal record - and I contemplated not putting it up at all, but that would have been an all-around waste. Besides, beautiful orchids and lush tropical greenery are always a good thing, and perhaps even more so now that fall is starting to settle over these parts, with chilly mornings, leaves everywhere changing to red and yellow, and shops touting an ever-growing barrage of pumpkin-themed food products that seriously verges on the psychotic. So here I go with my report on the Floria 2013 Flower and Garden Festival which I attended at the very end of June. The theme of the festival this year was "Orkid - Khazanah Tropika" or "Orchid - Tropical Treasure" and almost all of the displays embraced it wholeheartedly. There were orchids everywhere, in huge numbers; it is hard to make something as beautiful and varied as orchids become monotonous but this event sure came close. There was an orchid competition in its own right, but they definitely predominated in the variously-sized display gardens that took up most of the festival and were front and center amongst the entries in the flower arranging competition. Only in the vendors' section where visitors could buy plants and garden supplies did they take somewhat of a backseat to fruit tree saplings and flowering shrubs.
Some colorful carpet bedding near the entrance
In the display of an orchid nursery
The state of Perlis was represented by miniature rice paddies... and a lot more orchids!
Orchids coming at you from all sides
Landscaping around a pool shaped like an orchid
The myriad display gardens were sponsored by all different kinds of entities, from nurseries and other businesses to government ministries, state governments, universities, and schools. They ranged from the tacky and shoddily executed or just plain weird to the stylish and gorgeous. Since we went on the last day of the week-long event, it was also interesting to see which design ideas held up better to tropical heat and throngs of visitors and who was putting more resources into maintenance.
One of our favorites
Another angle in the same garden
One of the miniature gardens designed by students from a secondary school
This garden was the best in my opinion - a riot of orchids, bromeliads, foliage plants, and fruit and vegetables (!), interspersed with water features and meticulously maintained
Pineapples, lettuce, and tomatoes among orchids and bromeliads
A tunnel of flowers!
In the display area for the entries in the amateur orchid competition photography was somewhat hindered by the greenish tint given to everything by the netting used to shade the precious plants. The lighting in the cut flower arrangement pavilion was somewhat better.
Now for some (orchid) variety...
Colorful cut flower displays...
... very colorful!
Lovely lights in the evening
On the whole, an impressive event and a ton of fun for any plant junkie like me - even if there could have been a tad more floral diversity, given Malaysia's natural and horticultural abundance.