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Brussels flower carpet is ready (and adapted to the heat)

The Brussels central square will look quite different this weekend: it will be covered by a giant flower carpet, and this for the 50th time. An international cooperation, it follows a design by Koen Vondenbusch and boasts 400,000 flowers. Special choices were made considering the scorching heat. 

The carpet was finished on Friday and inaugurated with a sound and light show at 10pm. It will cover the "Grand Place" or old market square in the heart of the capital until (and including) Monday, with the light show being repeated at 10pm each day. It is free, but if you want to have a better bird's eye view from the city hall balcony, you need to pay. 

The work includes 400,000 flowers; the "giant puzzle" was laid by as many as 120 volunteers in no time. The specialists come from a number of countries, including Mexico, Germany, Malta, Italy and Japan. They followed a design by Koen Vondenbusch who himself wanted to honour horticulturist Etienne Stautemas who designed the first flower carpet in 1971. In fact, the present carpet was inspired by Stautemas' 1971 design. 

Most flowers were supplied by growers in Lochristi, in East Flanders. Apart from begonias and dahlias, the work also includes many chrysanthemums this year, as they can resist the heat better. The flowers were picked as late as possible and laid as late as possible since they fade rapidly amidst temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. 

Watch the preparations here:

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This archive video shows the flower carpet in 1971: "This a promotion for the flower industry"

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