A garden / flora festival or exposition is a festival and exposition held to celebrate the arts of gardening, garden design, landscaping and landscape architecture. There are local garden festivals, regional garden festivals, National Garden Festivals and International Garden Festivals. The idea probably originated with Germany's Bundesgartenschau. The UK held five garden festivals in the period 1984-92 but blundered through not planning an after-use for the festival grounds during their design and planning phase.
To qualify as an International Exhibition, a show must be recognised by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which was established by a diplomatic international Convention, signed in Paris,in 1928. Shows can also be recognised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (IAHP / AIPH). To qualify as a National Exhibition, a garden festival must be recognised by a national government.
Because garden design is becoming more popular and featuring on TV, there is an ever-growing number of garden festivals: permanent and temporary, official and non-official. One of the best known is International Garden Festival held on a permanent site at Chaumont in France. Despite the name, Chaumont does not come within the BIE definition of an 'international' festival. Other shows feature garden design but describe themselves as 'flower shows'. The best-known example in this category, the Chelsea Flower Show, emphasises garden design. It spun off a Chelsea Fringe events in 2012 which featured a variety of unusual gardens and gardening across London.
List of host nations and cities
||Liverpool||International Garden Festival||1984||International||A1||Yes|
||Osaka||Expo '90||1990||April 1 - September 30||International||A1||Yes|
|United States of America
||Columbus, Ohio||AmeriFlora '92||1992||April 3 to October 12||National||No|
||Kunming||1999 World Horticultural Exposition||1999||May 1 to October 31||International||A1||Yes|
||Shenyang||2006||May 1 - October 31||International||A2/B1||No|
||Singapore||Singapore Garden Festival||2006
and biennially since
||Chiang Mai||Royal Flora Ratchaphruek||2006–2007||November 1 - January 31||International||A1||Yes|
||Taipei||Taipei International Flora Exposition||2010–2011||November 6 - April 25||International||A2/B1||No|
||Melbourne||Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show||2011||March 30 - April 3||International||n/a||No|
||Xi'an||2011||April 22 - October 28||International||A2/B1||No|
||Suncheon||Suncheon International Garden Expo(Korea)||2013||April 20 - October 20||International||A1||Yes|
||Jinzhou||2013||May 10 - October 31||International||A2/B1||No|
||Qingdao||2014||April 25 - October 25||International||A2/B1||No|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Garden shows.|
- International Garden Festival
- National Garden Festival, list of UK garden festivals
- Bundesgartenschau, list of German garden festivals
- Andrew C. Theokas Grounds for Review: The Garden Festival in Urban Planning and Design (Liverpool University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-85323-539-2)