Saturday August 23, 2014

Vienna flower festival a must


Gardeners, I’d like to tell you about an event that is happening on Friday, January 17. If you and I could take a magic carpet ride on that day, we’d be on our way to beautiful Vienna for the 92nd Annual “Blumenball”, the Vienna Flower Ball at Vienna City Hall.  Besides the glitter and glamor of an enchanted Viennese ball, complete with dining and dancing, this “night of 100,000 flowers” allows ball-goers to enjoy a floral delight of thousands of foliage plants and tens of thousands of flowers that will transform Vienna City Hall into a blooming paradise. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

I asked Gabriele Weichselbaum, who works at the Flower Ball ticket office, about the history of the event.  Gabriele says “The Blumenball is a traditional Viennese Ball which takes place in the glorious halls of the Vienna Town Hall. It originates in the 1920’s. The Ball rooms are richly decorated with innumerable flowers. Each year different flowers and colors are picked. The Blumenball was first started by the Vienna Gardeners Association.”

So if we were lucky enough to be there, Gabriele explains what the evening would entail.      “While indulging in culinary delights, with a large choice of warm and cold dishes, one can rest one’s weary legs in the ”Volkshalle” or at the “Heuriger”. One can listen to the traditional “Schrammelmusik”, a traditional style of Viennese folk music originating in the late 19th Century. Or one may want to linger at one of the sparkling-wine bars or cafès. Every lady is presented with a “Damenspende”, a small gift given to ladies at the ball. (a flowering plant)”

There is also a flower raffle, (and every ticket wins!) for a lovely plant or flower arrangement.

And  in case you are wondering what time we should be there, Gabriele said “Doors open at 8 p.m. and the night can be danced away from 9 p.m. till 5 a.m!”

Gabriele also sent me some other information about floral design at the Blumenball, just one of many balls that happen throughout  the city.  The information says that “the majority of this colorful decoration origins in the Hirschstettner Flower Gardens, a part of “Vienna City Gardens”, the botanical department of the city council.  All other plants are purchased from the Austrian Floral-Trade and only from dealers who stay true to the “fair plant-fair flower” concept. It takes the Vienna City Gardens only five days to transform the City Hall into a floral oasis, although the “green decoration” is applied just shortly before the grand event.  While all ballrooms are decorated in concord with the motto “With flowers through Vienna”, every hall has its own unique and beautiful design.”

For your own information, “fair plant-fair flower” is “a multi stake-holder initiative to stimulate the production of sustainable cut flowers and potted plants, to minimize environmental impact of cutflower production on the natural environment and surrounding communities, and to establish good social conditions for workers on flower and plant farms.” (from

Add the Blumenball to your bucket list, gardeners! I’m sure it must be a beautiful, magical event! Thank you to Gabriele for her help and information!

The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society is planning another exciting year, with interesting speakers and events. Gardeners, we hope that you will join us!  Our meetings are on the third Thursday of each month. Our first meeting of 2014 will be in February. There is always something new to learn about gardening, and it’s great fun with great people!

Till next time, enjoy the warmer weather and have a good week!



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