The land comes to life in blues, reds and yellows under the warming rays of the sun and the air is alive with birdsong and the gentle hum of bees.
It’s infectious – and not just in Great Britain. Countries all over Europe celebrate spring with bright flower festivals and parades that draw visitors from all over. Planning a break around a flower festival is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and make the most of the natural beauty of this verdant season. Here’s our pick of the spring flower festivals this year:
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
When: Late May
Where: Royal Hospital Chelsea, London
It goes without saying that the Chelsea Flower Show is one of the horticultural highlights of the British calendar. Drawing crowds from all over the world, it displays the work of leading garden designers as well smaller gardens such as the Artisan and Urban gardens. It is also the event at which many new plants are launched, making it an inspiring day out for any nature lover.
Keukenhof Flower Parade
This spectacular flower parade begins at 9.30am and draws hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the route to watch it go by. Over 20 huge floats covered in flowers make the 40km journey, a burst of colour and beguiling scents accompanied by marching bands. On Sunday 4 May, the floats will remain on display in Haarlem until 5pm.
Festa da Flor – Maderia
Spring brings the city of Funchal to life with its week long Festa da Flor. There’s a parade of floats decorated with flowers, as well as activities such as shop window dressing and a flower exhibition at Largo da Restoration. On Saturday 3 May, there’s a children’s parade between Avenida Arriaga and the town square to put a flower on the Wall of Hope, which symbolises a desire for world peace.
Temps de Flors – Girona
Where: Catalunya, Spain
Held in Girona’s Barri Vell neighbourhood, the Temps de Flors transforms the city’s monuments, courtyards and urban spaces into a vision of striking colours and lush greenery. There are street fairs, workshops and exhibitions, and don’t miss the ‘flower menu’, a choice of culinary delicacies that feature flowers as their main ingredient.
Fourcès flower market – France
Where: Gers, France
The small town of Fourcès is ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages in France and becomes even more dazzling in late April when its flower market is held. Over 75 exhibitors, including horticulturalists, craftsmen and nurserymen, make the village into a feast of flower arrangements that attracts thousands of visitors.