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The 2018 flower carpet, Source: Flower Carpet on Facebook

This year, the Flower Carpet will bloom again in Brussels

This year, the Flower Carpet will bloom again in Brussels

As it is the semicentennial anniversary of the event, the 2022 pattern will mimic the very first flower carpet from 1971

This year, the Flower Carpet is coming back to the Belgian capital. After a four-year break, on 12 August, Brussels’ Grand-Place will once more host the 1,680 square metre flower installation. To celebrate the semicentennial anniversary of the initiative, as well as its 22nd edition, this year’s design will emulate the very first flower carpet that Brussels saw, back in 1971.

new designThe new design, Source: City of Brussels

The last Flower Carpet event was held back in 2018, while the next one was scheduled for 2020, as this is a biannual show. However, it was cancelled due to the pandemic, while in 2021, the city was still covered in flowers in the so-called ‘floral route’.

Tapis de Fleurs de Bruxelles will take place between the 12 and 15 of August and apart from the carpet, the city will also host a light show, that will entertain visitors well into the night.

In the past, the carpets usually used begonias, dahlias and a mixture of grass and bark, as both a layer and planting medium. The begonias are the particular secret to creating the carpets, as they come in a variety of different colours, from vivid yellows to darker pastel tones. Furthermore, they are an incredibly resilient plant, when it comes to weather conditions.

What's more, Belgium is the perfect place to be if you are in search of an insane amount of begonias, as the country is the world’s largest producer with more than 35 million bulbs per year. Ghent in particular accounts for 80% of Belgian production.

History repeating itself

This year’s installation will be inspired by the very first flower carpet that was made for the Belgian capital back in 1971. In 1970 two Brussels aldermen made a carpet of flowers in Oudenaarde, in East Flanders, and the idea to bring the practice to Brussels was born.

the first carpet in brusselsThe first flower carpet in Brussels, Source Flowercarpet Brussels

The first carpet was made by a landscape architect named Etienne Stautemas. A graduate from the Horticultural College in Ghent, Stautemas experimented with floral carpets for years, as he made installations around Flanders, Luxembourg, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Vienna and even Buenos Aires.

This year's floral work will be the result of a collaboration between Mexican artist Roo Aguilar Aguado and Koen Vondenbusch, a student of Étienne Stautemas and his successor Marc Schautteet, who has been working on the Brussels flower carpet for 28 years.

The pair spent hundreds of hours recreating the pattern for the 1971 carpet entitled " Arabesques ", from plans drawn by hand by Étienne Stautemas. The arabesques, which were his trademark, were reproduced using modern techniques. The Archangel Saint-Michel and the Belgian Lion present on the 1971 carpet will also be reproduced for this year’s edition.

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