An Ocean of Colors

International Garden Exhibition 2017

 

 This year, “An Ocean of Colors” charms international visitors with floral magic at the International Garden Exhibition in Berlin, Germany.

A windy 120 meter (almost 400 feet) high platform on the tree-covered hill in the center of the spectacle, offers a panoramic view of the Berlin skyline and the surrounding scenery. What appears like “Fifty Shades of Green” from up there, it turns out to be more dreamscape than landscape. Paths are winding their way down the hillside into an urban idyllic, where seemingly untouched landscape competes with floral terraces and splashing fountains.

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The fair’s expressed objective is to encourage the variety and fascinating contrasts the capital has to offer. In this aspect, it achieves to create space for cultural encounter.

Going to the International Garden Exhibition is something like putting on a backpack and travelling the world within a day. –But, instead of crossing oceans by plane, you take a short ride on a lift over fields. On 104 hectares (257 acres), the fair features a cultural explosion with garden cabinets from all six continents. While the Korean and Japanese gardens each present an oasis of relaxation, the Oriental garden amazes with elements of symmetry and beautiful tile art. The English cottage and the Chinese pavilion, offering authentic drinks and food, give the event a special touch. While overlooking a coy fish pond, visitors can enjoy a large selection of Chinese teas, such as a Tai Mu Long Zhu (Dragon pearls of the Taimu Moutain), a Tong Fang Jia Li (Eastern beauty), a Dong Ding Oolong (Black dragon from the Dongding Mountain), or a Bai Mao Hou (White-haired monkeys from Fuding).

The organizers also recognize the International Garden Exhibition as a place of education and awareness. The campus pavilion informs about biological diversity, healthy dieting, agricultural projects of the future and while also surprising with geeky side-facts. The focus was put on a 2000 square-meter global field, creating a realistic picture of what and how much would grow on a field to feed one person if the 1.4 billion hectares (34.6 billion acres) of global agricultural fields were divided equally for people worldwide. Such would include grain, rice, vegetables, corn and soy as forage crops for animals, sugar beets and cotton.

On a larger scale, the event also raises awareness towards farm animals. In the Ark Garden graze cows, horses and sheep – All being farm animal breeds threatened by extinction.

The International Garden Exhibition also opens its gates for the little ones. With multiple playgrounds based on the German children’s book “Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reitet in die Südsee” by Erich Kästner along with Berlin’s first summer bobsleigh run which reaches speeds up to 40 km/h (24.9 mph). Plus, over 8000 events have helped turn the exhibition into a festival of entertainment.

Until Ocotober 15th 2017, visitors can enjoy the spectacle. Expected are 2 million guests. After half way through the opening season, “only” 750.000 guests had made their way to the floral grounds (probably due to the rainy weather), the goal appears hard to reach. Yet, the organizing team experiences the International Garden Exhibition as a success. Due to the Garden Exhibition, Berlin raises more attention as a livable metropolis. Also, interviews with 400 visitors mirror the positive reflection of the event, as 98% were pleased with the event and 75% stated that they would come again.

 

 

 

Sources:

IGA Berlin 2017: “Ein Mehr aus Farben”. URL: https://iga-berlin-2017.de/ (19.08.2017)

IGA Berlin 2017: “Zahlen Daten Fakten zur Internationalen Gartenausstellung (IGA) in Berlin”. URL: https://iga-berlin-2017.de/sites/default/files/media-library/3_zahlen-daten-fakten_0.pdf (19.08.2017)

Ingo Salmen: “Besucherzahlen der IGA 20 Prozent unter dem Soll”. URL: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/gartenausstellung-in-berlin-marzahn-besucherzahlen-der-iga-20-prozent-unter-dem-soll/19988364.html (19.08.2017)

Rbb 24: “IGA liegt zur Halbzeit mit Besucherzeit zurück”. URL: https://www.rbb-online.de/panorama/thema/2017/iga-in-berlin/beitraege/halbzeit-bilanz-iga.html (19.08.2017)

Regina Köhler: “ IGA Berlin: Einmal über den Garten schweben”. URL: https://www.morgenpost.de/bezirke/marzahn-hellersdorf/article211354479/IGA-Berlin-Einmal-ueber-den-Garten-schweben.html (19.08.2017)

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