Hundreds of thousands of begonias and dahlias emblazoned the Grand Place in Brussels this month for its 20th “Flower Carpet” display, which this year had a Japanese theme.
A Japanese crane, a bird that symbolizes good fortune and longevity in Asian culture, flies across a wild landscape and Koi carp seem to swim among the blossoms delicately laid out on the picturesque 15th-century square.
Some 600,000 flowers were assembled in the 75 meter-long and 24 meter-wide display. Around 100 workers and volunteers contributed to creating the flower carpet, a biennial event. Some picked blooms from fields in the north of Belgium as fast as 600 an hour each.
“It takes us two years to create and assemble a carpet like this,” explained Johan Aelterman, whose family’s flower-growing business has been involved in making the carpet since the first such event in 1971.