Every ten years, there is a horticultural expo that comes to Venlo, in the Netherlands.
In the summer of 2012, whilst I was staying with a friend and her family, her stepmother and stepsister surprised us with tickets to the show. My friend Aruna refused to even tell me where we were going until we walked into the front door of this wonderfully unique exhibit of innovations and emerging trends in the world of plants and flora and fauna.
The show provided a rare glimpse at the world of technology in producing green foods, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna assembled in an appealing and mesmerizing way, and has stayed with me long after I left its premises.
Below are some of my favorite snapshots from the visit.
1. The shoes that were embedded in a wall, which informs you that art can be found anywhere.
3. The wildflowers in bloom in various gardens.
4. Fresh flowers and Kenyan coffee.
5. The spirals in this wonderfully orange flower.
6. These tropical waterlilies, which seemed so randomly placed in a Northern European country.
7. And these lovely bleeding hearts in a shade I had never encountered before.
8. And the various types of ferns you can see all over the place.
9. This half oval shaped greenhouse, which takes up the better side of a hill.
10. The various ways that wood is piled up to create various patterns under stools.
11. These plants with their blood red veins on their leaves.
12. The growing culture of broccoflowers and other such wonderful minions of scientific innovation pertaining to the broccoli and cauliflower family.
13. The fact that modern technological innovations such as UV rays are used to produce the best growth conditions for basil is fascinating.
14. The various shapes of flora and fauna is mesmerizing, second only to being able to take quick close up looks.
15. Whoever said that futuristic patterns and technology should be separated from horticultural and agricultural innovations truly needs to go to Venlo.
16. We are all aware of the wonderful architectural innovations that accompany so many different places all around the world, from sculptures in piazzas all the way to fountains in the Al Hambra. Rarely, however, will you find a blackened orange pool of goodness surrounding a garden. Take note, take an interest in the unspoken messages and metaphors being passed your way.
17. Seeing fresh vegetables in full bloom is a lot of fun.