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It was here for a month and filled our lovely Commonwealth Park with the colours of the rainbow, by day and even by night.

There were flowers of course – huge swathes of tulips supported by armies of pansies and others, grouped and scattered; wandering street performers; music and cafes; artisan stalls and demonstrations; a knoll of garden gnomes; activities for the kids; and even a day out for the dogs.

Some complained that it wasn’t as big or as spectacular as previous years, this year with some portable garden beds (nurtured externally) brought in in a bid to save the relationship between the government organisers and the custodians of the park and  to find a solution to their reclaimations of the parkland that’s been turned into almost perpetual garden beds for many years. It does appear a bit smaller in grandeur but it’s lovely just the same, and people keep coming from far and wide and nearby to have a stroll through to gaze and pretend they’re exercising.

And to take photos. So many photos.

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We had to make a last-day dash specifically to stock up on some Zumbarons: that is, macarons by the famed Adriano Zumbo. (If you don’t know of him, you need to make his acquaintance.) I plead coercion. It was at my daughter’s insistence. She was 7 days into a 14 day stretch of her hubbie-dear working everyday without a break leaving her to be solely responsible for the littlies, so she decided the pain may be lessened with a drip-feed of sugar delights over the approaching week. And she is not going to let him have even one! There has to be a small element of justice in the world. I desisted at first, but eventually went back for some myself – sorry, as a gift for my dearest, surely my sole motivation.

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The day was going swimmingly. Boxes of Zumbaros in hand, a quick cavort in the jumping castle and an impromptu picnic on the grass before it all turned to pooh in the blink of any eye, as one of the helium balloons held by Miss 2 escaped her wrist and disappeared into the oblivion of the wide, blue sky. My God. The loss. The anguish. There is truly nothing more devastating to a small child than the irretrievable loss of a balloon.

This is the face of heartbreak.

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We had to go then. So we said farewell to Floriade for 2016.

It’s been a pleasure, and I look forward to seeing you again next year.

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