2 April 2021

'More than a garden of trees'

Dendrologist Jaap Smit is part of the Floriade planting team. This team is responsible for creating a green Floriade Expo 2022. The arboretum of Floriade consisting of trees, plants, flowers and shrubs, which are all planted in alphabetically order.

8 hectares arboretum

Literally ‘arboretum’ means garden of trees. “But we believe a garden of trees is not enough,” says Jaap Smit. Instead, the planting team believes it should be a complete garden with 13 layers of plants. That starts with the trees as the top layer, shrubs, ground covers, perennials and everything in between. Altogether these layers will constitute the Expo’s green structure. At Floriade there are 192 lots. Each lot is assigned to a letter of the alphabet and the strips that lie around the lots are planted with trees, plants and shrubs. The first letter of their botanical names matches with the letter of the lot. In total the arboretum covers 8 hectares of the 60 hectares site.

Contribution to expo and future district’ greenery

The arboretum is part of the Floriade Expo 2022 theme, “Growing Green Cities”. Taking into account the green urban district of Hortus that arises on the Expo site after 2022, greenery has been used that will thrive long-term in the clay-rich soil of Almere. “The planting must contribute to the green city of the future,” says Jaap Smit. For example plants that provide insects with extra nutrition, capture particulate matter, produce food such as fruits and provide shade. During the Expo, various routes have been created through the arboretum where visitors learn fun facts about the plants.

After the Expo, the arboretum will continue to exist. Houses will be built on the plots surrounding the arboretum and the future residents and the municipality will be jointly responsible for maintaining the arboretum. “This shows how unique this Floriade edition is in comparison to others. I believe the arboretum will soon be just as important for Almere as the Euromast is for the city of Rotterdam. That will be the legacy of Floriade Expo 2022,” concludes Jaap Smit.