While organizers of the event were concerned that this summer’s record-breaking heat may prevent the flowers from blooming, Belgian flower growers came through for this year’s flower carpet, laying out 500,000 blossoms on Brussels’ central square. “It has been extremely difficult,” said Troch Peters, a Belgium-based flower wholesaler. “Until 10 days ago, people were afraid that we were not going to have enough flowers. Luckily, in the last two weeks the weather changed, producing new, fresh flowers.”
Displayed every other year in Brussels, the theme of this year’s flower carpet (spanning 19,000 square feet) is the Mexican region of Guanajuato. In the carpet’s design, an indigenous bird is surrounded by illustrations of Mexican flora and fauna.
The biannual flower carpet tradition originated in 1971, when Brussels councilors were enamored with similar displays in Flanders, and decided to introduce it to their own city. Now, the carpet regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors.
“It is absolutely beautiful!” said flower carpet devotee Judith Daniels, who came all the way from Los Angeles. “I have been coming here since I was a little girl. Every time I see it, I am even more and more taken aback at the detail.”